I was supremely lucky to be able to try the Beyond Burger while in Hong Kong this spring. We don’t have it in Korea yet, and my guess is that it’ll be a while before we see it on the shelves here. The Beyond Burger is touted as the most realistic meat substitute to exist yet! It took ten years to finish it and even before trying it I knew it was going to be worth it.
I had no idea I’d be able to find it in Hong Kong until I was searching vegan and gluten free options and came across Green Common. They’re a health food store that serves the burger in their cafe as well as sell it frozen to take home! I went to a few Green Common locations before finding one that served it that particular day but finally got my hands on it.
The one at Green Common was served with daiya cheese and avocado, and of course I ordered mine sans bun. I also expected them to charge more. It’s roughly $10 (US) for the burger but extra for the cheese and avo. I should mention the burger itself is gluten free which is also really exciting for me since so many meat substitutes are made with wheat gluten.
I bought a frozen pack to take with me and they were also not as pricey as I thought they’d be! Green Common also gives you an insulated bag and icepack with your purchase so it helped keep them cool on my flight although of course they fully defrosted by the time I got home.
Because the package doesn’t recommend refreezing them, I cooked one shortly after that and risked refreezing the other. I really wanted to save it! The defrosted burgers are where it got a little weird for me – it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve had a hamburger and granted I don’t really remember what the smell of raw, cooking burger should be, but the smell was pretty strange. Not in a terrible way but a little overwhelming for me.
Even the photos make my stomach a little queasy since they look so realistic! But rest assured, it’s just peas and beet juice died to look like meat. The burgers also sizzled up like the real thing, or at least as far as I can remember.
The burgers smelled better after cooking, but it was still very overpowering. My whole apartment smelled like it! Again I’m not sure if it was really a “meat” smell but it definitely came on strong.
It definitely looks like the real thing when you cook it too. The texture and colour are both pretty realistic. I didn’t have any avo but I did bring back some daiya from Hong Kong so I topped it with that and tomato, and on a gluten free bun… Yum! I think I slightly overcooked the first one, so I made sure not to overheat the second (as per the instructions) and it turned out out well even after refreezing it.
The texture was only verryy slightly different but it was still as delicious as the first one!
Each burger has 20g of protein in it so to say they’re filling would be an understatement! I felt very full and didn’t get hungry again for a while which is not normal for me. Is that what it’s like to have a real burger? If so, the better because it means they succeeded making a realistic substitute on multiple levels.
I wish I had a meat eater with me to test it out and see what they thought. Realistic meat substitutes, especially ones that have nutritional profiles similar to meat are incredible and so important! I can’t imagine the amount of work it took to develop the Beyond Burger. I feel so lucky that I had a chance to try it out first hand.
For more information about the Beyond Burger check out their website here.
Have you tried the Beyond Burger and what did you think of it?