Vegan food has made huge strides in Hong Kong, with plant-based alternatives to most of our favourite foods now available such as vegan burgers, dim sum, sweet and sour “pork”, and even vegan spam (thanks to the rise of plant-based companies such as Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Omnifoods). But, one thing that’s been missing all this time – and one that we’ve been personally craving – is vegan fried chicken.
That’s why we were thrilled to stumble across Shroomi, Hong Kong’s first vegan fried chicken delivery service. Started by Marianne O’Reilly, a Hong Kong native and Master’s Student at HKUST in biotechnology, the idea for Shroomi has been in the works for the past year.
“I’ve been vegan for six years and loved trying vegan food in Hong Kong,” says Marianne, who was raised vegetarian. “A few restaurants, especially Buddhist ones, used lion mane’s mushroom in their dishes and I was very taken aback by the texture. I just thought it’d be really good if it were deep fried.”
A natural in the kitchen, Marianne came up with the recipe for Shroomi herself using fresh lion mane’s mushroom from Malaysia and coating it in a thick layer of homemade batter. After the initial frying process, they are delivered to customers every Friday evening and can be reheated in the air fryer or oven to be eaten straight away, or stored in the freezer for up to a week.
Marianne also makes Shroomi’s sauces from scratch using sunflower oil and soy milk as a base, and customers can choose from three finger-licking flavours: honey mustard, spicy sriracha and garlic.
“I’m the sole employee right now, so there’s definitely been a learning curve,” she says. “The plan is to eventually reach out to zero waste food stores and get Shroomi stocked there.”
Shroomi and sustainability
Zero waste is definitely top of mind for Marianne, who is mindful about sustainability when delivering Shroomi to customers. “We’ve been looking into more sustainable options and right now, all our Shroomi orders are delivered in Vegware, which is biodegradeable.”
Shroomi also partners with Feeding Hong Kong to give back to the local community. “For every box of Shroomi sold, we sponsor one meal for someone in Hong Kong,” says Marianne. “As someone who is locally from Hong Kong who loves the city and its cuisine, I wanted my business to be able to give back in some way. I really liked the concept of Feeding HK and how they minimise food waste, which is why I chose to partner with them.”
Shroomi taste test
So, how does Shroomi taste? We had a chance to sample a box of Shroomi last week and can say that it is absolutely delicious and the closest thing we’ve had to real fried chicken. Crispy, crunchy and covered in a generous amount of batter, the lion’s mane mushroom stayed juicy and tasty, while simulating the texture of chicken very closely. We also loved the dipping sauces, especially the honey mustard.
Freshly launched in January 2022, Shroomi is now taking orders for their 450g boxes of vegan fried chicken (approx. 12-14 pieces) that’s delivered every Friday between 6-10pm. Each order (HK$160) comes with two of three vegan dipping sauces: honey mustard, garlic and spicy sriracha.
*Orders placed before Weds, 26 January are 20 percent off (HK$128)!
Look out for our exclusive Shroomi giveaway for 8Shaders – follow us on Instagram @8shadesofficial for more details on how to enter!
Learn more about Shroomi at @shroomi.hk
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