What Is Vegan Tuna?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Vegan tuna is designed to taste like real tuna fish.
Vegan tuna is designed to taste like real tuna fish.

Vegan tuna is not actually tuna, or even a fish, but a non-animal based food product designed to taste like tuna and take the place of it in popular tuna recipes. Some companies have formulated an imitation tuna product that may be made from a variety of vegetable or grain proteins, including soy. Home cooks will sometimes use nuts or legumes blended with flavoring ingredients to make a vegan tuna salad. As long as the imitation tuna is made from ingredients not derived from an animal, it can be considered vegan. The choice of ingredients largely depends on the individual cook or consumer and her own preferences.

Conventional tuna can have relatively high levels of mercury.
Conventional tuna can have relatively high levels of mercury.

Veganism is a dietary philosophy that rejects the consumption of any and all animal-derived ingredients. Those who adhere to a vegan diet abstain from eating both the flesh of animals as well as their eggs and milk. Some vegans also refrain from consuming honey, which is produced by bees. While some vegans genuinely dislike meat and fish, others do consume imitation versions that are made from vegan ingredients. Some vegan home cooks regularly produce their own imitation meat and fish, while others rely on commercially prepared substitutes.

Contrary to popular belief, the vegan diet is not limited to fruit and vegetables.
Contrary to popular belief, the vegan diet is not limited to fruit and vegetables.

Commercial producers of vegan and vegetarian food offer several vegan tuna options. In some cases, the so-called tuna is in the shape of a filet, while in other versions it may be offered in smaller chunks or rounds. Either version can be used in a variety of vegan fish dishes that require whole pieces of tuna. Other food manufacturers sell vegan tuna salad mix, which combines very small pieces of vegan tuna with spices and flavorings that are traditionally found in tuna salad. Cooks who use these mixes typically blend them with a vegan mayonnaise to make a reasonable facsimile of tuna fish salad.

As tuna contains relatively high levels of mercury, pregnant women are typically advised to limit consumption.
As tuna contains relatively high levels of mercury, pregnant women are typically advised to limit consumption.

Home cooks may use other ingredients to produce vegan tuna salad. Typically, home-cooked salad will use a plant-based protein source such as nuts or legumes. In both cases, the protein source will be soaked or cooked so as to take on a softened texture and will then be blended with additional flavoring agents as well as a binding ingredient, such as vegan mayonnaise, before serving. This salad can be served on a bed of lettuce or on vegan bread as a tuna fish sandwich or melt.

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Discussion Comments

Heavanet

Vegan tuna noodle casserole is a tasty dish that looks and tastes like a casserole that is made with real tuna.

All you have to do is break vegan tuna into pieces and add them to your favorite tuna noodle casserole recipe in place of canned tuna. You don't usually have to bake it as long as you do real tuna, and can even make this vegan dish in a pan on your stove top.

Raynbow

I occasionally eat vegan tuna, and it's not bad. It actually tastes a lot like real tuna.

My favorite way to eat this vegetarian dish is as vegan tuna salad on a sandwich. I add tomato, lettuce, and onion to enhance the flavor and create a complete sandwich.

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    • Vegan tuna is designed to taste like real tuna fish.
      Vegan tuna is designed to taste like real tuna fish.
    • Conventional tuna can have relatively high levels of mercury.
      Conventional tuna can have relatively high levels of mercury.
    • Contrary to popular belief, the vegan diet is not limited to fruit and vegetables.
      Contrary to popular belief, the vegan diet is not limited to fruit and vegetables.
    • As tuna contains relatively high levels of mercury, pregnant women are typically advised to limit consumption.
      As tuna contains relatively high levels of mercury, pregnant women are typically advised to limit consumption.