Plant-based crispy chicken and unagi: New food brand gives consumers more choices

Based right here in South-east Asia, FSSC-certified Hoshay Food offers convenient plant-based and halal-certified meal options with a healthier twist

The plant-based crispy fried chicken – a juicy parcel of tofu skin seasoned with herbs and spices – is among the wide selection of plant-based products offered by Hoshay. PHOTO: @tamjiak_veggiez

You’ve probably heard of plant-based meat, and even spotted them at the supermarket. More restaurants are offering plant-based dishes on their menus, and your friends might be eagerly lapping up this food trend.

Interest in socially responsible consumption among Singapore consumers has doubled from 2019 to 2020, cites a report by vegan food discovery platform abillion. 

According to a November 2021 survey by Rakuten Insight, the top reasons why consumers choose plant-based food are healthiness (48 per cent), animal welfare (34 per cent) and following new trends (34 per cent). 

An article published in Harvard Health notes that a plant-based diet rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals could help lower blood pressure and “bad” LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes and support the maintenance of a healthy weight. 

It is good for the Earth as well. Shifting to a plant-based diet could reduce carbon emissions, which has a positive impact on climate change.

One of the latest plant-based food brands to join the fray is Hoshay Food, which prides itself on producing innovative and quality plant-based products rooted in decades of food manufacturing expertise. Here are some reasons to munch on its offerings.

Made with nutritious ingredients that support good health

Chief executive officer of Hoshay Food, Ms Chris Ooi. PHOTO: HOSHAY FOOD

Hoshay Food products are plant-based, high in soya protein, include a source of highly digestible plant-based protein, and contain no cholesterol. They are also free of animal hormones, MSG, peanuts and sesame.

Hoshay Food chief executive officer, Ms Chris Ooi says: “Our commitment to providing a more ethical and more sustainable food alternative has led us to make this promise to our customers.”

Apart from Hoshay being recognised with the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC), its products are also halal-certified and minimally processed. They are made from two key ingredients, shiitake mushrooms and tofu skin, which are packed with nutrients and health benefits.

Shiitake mushrooms support immunity and heart health, while being rich in taste (for that addictive yet natural umami flavour). They also have a “meaty” texture and are low in calories. The nutritious fungus is also high in B vitamins and is a source of vitamin D for healthy blood vessels and bones.

Freshly picked shiitake mushrooms are used in Hoshay Food’s plant-based mushroom meatballs that deliver a juicy – yet meatless – satisfaction.

Meanwhile, tofu skin is rich in protein, calcium and other nutrients. This ingredient is also low in calories, and a perfect grain-free option. It is also said to help your skin achieve a supple and youthful glow, thanks to the vitamin E contained within.

Tofu skin is the main ingredient in Hoshay Food’s plant-based crispy fried chicken, a juicy parcel of tofu skin seasoned with herbs and spices – an addictive snack on its own or a versatile pairing with fries, tacos and more.

Backed by 26 years of food manufacturing expertise

Hoshay’s range of plant-based products are classified under three categories: Hoshay Sizzle (western delights), Hoshay Munchies (crunchy snacks) and Hoshay Now (grab-and-go meals). PHOTO: HOSHAY FOOD

The team behind Hoshay Food has been in the food manufacturing industry since 1995  that’s 26 years of expertise! Its latest expansion plans include a new plant that is expected to be in compliance with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) food safety standards, and is estimated to be ready in the third quarter of this year. 

The brand is part of Everbest, a leading vegetarian food manufacturer in Malaysia, known for its halal-certified soya bean products made from non-genetically modified soya beans.

This familiarity with the production process also means that Hoshay Food is able to focus on innovation and its commitment to developing a diverse range of products for us consumers.

Familiar recipes that suit our local palate

Plant-based foods don’t just go with Western-style dishes such as pasta, burgers and grilled fare. Hoshay Food’s plant-based options go well with zichar, donburi, wonton mee, or even briyani.

With Hoshay Food’s understanding of local palates and preferences, it has come up with some mouth-watering recipes using its products. They include teriyaki “unagi” served as sushi or atop rice bowls, mushroom meatballs in dry wonton mee or cooked in curry to go with fragrant briyani rice, sweet and sour “meat” served in wraps, and even Southern-style crispy fried “chicken” and waffles.

Of note is Hoshay Food’s unique plant-based unagi, which is made from TVP, or textured vegetable protein (a soya-based ingredient), and seaweed. What’s unique is that most plant-based meats typically mimic beef, chicken, pork and selected seafood, and finding plant-based unagi with homemade teriyaki sauce is indeed a rarity.

Convenient to prepare at home

For time-strapped individuals, Hoshay Food literally brings convenience to the table as its products can be used to whip up meals in a flash.

From the Hoshay Sizzle range, enjoy plant-based mushroom meatballs and patties as meat alternatives for Western-style meals. These can go directly from the freezer to the frying pan and to your plate in less than 10 minutes flat. The meatballs can also be microwaved (just takes two minutes), boiled in soup or deep-fried.

The Hoshay Now range comprises delicious Grab & Go plant-based meals that include teriyaki unagi, sweet and sour meat, and tomato mushroom meatball. Again, these can be heated up in the microwave when frozen, and are ready in under five minutes! Just drizzle some sauce and prepare a side of your preferred carbohydrates for maximum enjoyment.

Last but not least is the Hoshay Munchies range, which is perfect for a midday pick-me-up or a party snack. For now, there’s only the plant-based crispy fried chicken, but this popular tofu skin snack is so versatile that you probably don’t need anything else. It’s also easily cooked from frozen, and can be air-fried for those who want to achieve the same shatteringly crisp skin and juicy interior without using oil.

Plant-based options when dining out

A February 2020 YouGov survey found that about two in five (39 per cent) Singaporeans describe themselves as flexitarian. This means they are on a flexible vegetarian diet, where they choose to eat plant-based meals most of the time, with the occasional indulgence in animal products. Reasons cited for choosing this diet include health, concerns over health risks in meat and/or fish production, concerns over the healthiness of processed meat, and environmental reasons.

Recognising this, several eateries have partnered with Hoshay Food to offer delectable plant-based dishes.

For a quick bite, munch on Jollibean Vegan’s Tomato Mushroom Meatball ($9.90). Wash this down with a swig of its silky smooth soya milk. At Tonichi Tsukemen Singapore, enjoy plant-based unagi alongside cold dipping noodles in the Veggie Tsukemen with Plant-based Unagi ($15.50).

Head to halal-certified Lean Bento in Tai Seng for your daily dose of protein or have the tasty meals delivered to your home or office. Order the Plant-Based Unagi Rice/Noodle Bento (Promotional Price: $14.90, Usual Price: $16.90) that tastes almost like the seafood version, but without any fishy smell. Plant-based unagi is also a winner when it comes to higher protein content, lower fat and lower carb. The product also comes in a fun Plant-Based Unagi Croissant Box (Promotional Price: $21.90, Usual Price: $25.90), or you can opt for the Plant-Based Meatball Rice/Noodle Bento (Promotional Price: $13.90, Usual Price: $15.90) if you prefer the meaty bite of mushrooms.

The pet-friendly Canopy restaurant at the chill Bishan Park 2 dishes out hearty fare in its semi alfresco casual garden setting. Perfect for sharing with friends and family are its Hoshay Crispy Fried Chicken ($15) and Hoshay Tomato Mushroom Meatball ($15). Save some stomach space for the Hoshay Mushroom Burger ($25) that pairs the meaty and juicy texture of Hoshay Food’s plant-based mushroom patty with the fresh crunch of greens and perfectly toasted buns.

Guests are treated to four courses of delectable plant-based dishes at Hoshay’s launch event. The event was held at European restaurant Mason Table on June 29. PHOTO: HOSHAY FOOD

Mason Table, an upscale European restaurant near Fort Canning, also uses Hoshay Food’s products to create fine-dining menus. In fact, the plant-based food brand’s official launch event was held at this venue recently on June 29 where dishes such as Duo Unagi (plant-based unagi served two ways, grilled and tempura, alongside sushi rice), Crispy Fried Chicken with Mixed Salad, and Potato Dumpling Stuffed Mushroom Meatball with a flourish of creamy Diane sauce were served to delighted guests.

This just goes to show how plant-based foods can be easily integrated into one’s lifestyle and suit just about any occasion.

Get a taste of Hoshay Food now

To sink your teeth into the delicious plant-based products by Hoshay Food, you can dine at the following restaurants:

  • Jollibean Vegan
  • Tonichi Tsukemen Singapore
  • Fitthree
  • Lean Bento
  • Old School Delights
  • Canopy
  • Ola Beach Bar
  • The Mason Table
  • Hinode Sake Bar
  • The Plant Food
  • Q-WA Bar and Yakitori

You can also shop online at the EB Food Official Shopee Store, and find out more on the Hoshay Food website. Hoshay Food products will also be stocked in supermarkets soon.

Cheers to a healthier, more sustainable plant-based diet, just like the brand’s tagline: “Plant your inner warrior!” 

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