The National Restaurant ASSOCIATION Show will take place Saturday, May 18 through Tuesday, May 21 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Unami, a plant-based alternative to eel, will be showcased at Booth #9639.


Ocean Hugger Foods will be debuting its newest product, Unami - a plant-based alternative to eel - at Booth #9639 at the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show.

“We’re thrilled to be able to share Unami at the foodservice industry’s most exciting event. Unami is a great alternative for chefs and foodservice operators who want to provide their guests with dishes highlighting the natural, firm texture of unagi without the negative environmental impacts of wild or farmed eel,” said James Corwell, Certified Master Chef and Co-Founder of Ocean Hugger Foods.


Unami is made from eggplants using Ocean Hugger’s patent-pending process, which changes the texture of the vegetable to resemble the firm texture of freshwater eel, or unagi. The eggplant is then marinated in a mixture of gluten-free soy sauce, mirin, and algae oil which infuses it with a rich umami flavor. The result is a ready-to-use product great for sushi and rice bowls, as well as more innovative dishes like Japanese-style pizzas and tacos.

Unami is vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free. Because it’s plant-based, it does not contribute to the demise of freshwater eel, which have been in serious decline over the past 30 years and which are rated ‘Avoid’ on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list.

Unami Nigiri

Unami Nigiri

“Over half of consumers are trying to eat more plant-based protein for both environmental and health reasons,” said David Benzaquen, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocean Hugger Foods. “Our plant-based products are a delicious alternative not only for vegans and vegetarians but also anyone concerned with the impact their food choices have on the environment.”

Unami will be available wholesale to foodservice operators in the coming months. To learn more and connect with a sales rep, email or visit our foodservice page.