This California Startup Is Making Plant-Based Bacon from a Japanese Fungus
This California Startup Is Making Plant-Based Bacon from a Japanese Fungus

This California Startup Is Making Plant-Based Bacon from a Japanese Fungus

  • Hannah Bugga
  • Hannah Bugga

California startup Prime Roots is making bacon out of koji—a Japanese superfood fungus! The company says koji replicates the texture and smokiness of bacon and even sizzles and shrinks when it’s fried in a pan.

Prime Roots’ products are all non-GMO, all-natural, high in protein, and free of gluten and soy. Co-founder Kimberlie Le said:

Our locally brewed, natural koji is combined with plant-based fats and formed into a “pork belly.” We then let that rest and put it in a smoker and hand slice it just like you would with pork bacon. … We get our plant-based bacon to sizzle by striking the right balance of protein and fat.

The company’s recent online limited release reportedly sold out at 1,000 units and left behind hundreds of disappointed would-be buyers. But eager vegan-bacon aficionados may not have to wait long to get their hands on the elusive new product.

Prime Roots says its koji meats will be available for online purchase from a shop that is due to open in San Francisco in the coming month or so. Shoppers will also have their choice of koji-based chicken tenders, breakfast sausage, crab cakes, tuna salad, and even lobster chunks to either purchase by the pound or select from a grab-and-go menu.

Prime Roots isn’t the only company experimenting with exciting new plant-based bacon recipes! Bay Area startup Hooray Foods plans to launch vegan bacon made from rice flour, tapioca starch, and coconut oil, while plant-based restaurant Slutty Vegan is working on soy-based bacon strips. Beyond Meat has expressed interest in tackling bacon and steak, and you can buy plant-based bacon chips by Beyond Meat collaborator Chef Dave Anderson at Outstanding Foods.

Every year, around 1.4 billion pigs are slaughtered for meat globally. With so many incredible, delicious, and unique plant-based products on the market, there’s never been a better time to choose more compassionate plant-based foods. Get delicious recipes and simple meal ideas by ordering a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today, and check out our Pinterest page for thousands of recipes.