Review: Good Catch’s Plant Based Fish Free Tuna – aka vegan tuna

I don’t necessarily have cravings for tuna. Even before I became vegan, rarely did I crack open a can of tuna and make myself a tuna fish sandwich. I knew how it tasted and looked and such, but something about eating fish out of a can felt odd to me. 

And never did I think that someday, I would choose a vegan diet, and that one day, there would be vegan tuna. 

But boy, was I wrong. 

I came across Good Catch’s Fish Free Tuna while on a usual shopping trip, definitely not looking for vegan tuna. 

But the concept of it fascinated me. Of course, I have seen and tried vegan chicken, vegan ground beef, and vegan crab cakes, but never had I seen “vegan tuna”. 

It was too interesting to pass off, so I bought a package to try at home.

Here’s my review of Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna and how it compares to the “real tuna” that it’s trying to replace.

The ingredients

First, let’s talk about the ingredients. 

Obviously, being vegan tuna, there is no fish in here. Instead, this vegan tuna is made with Good Catch’s “protein blend” which includes peas, soy, lentils, chickpea, faba, and navy beans. The rest of the ingredients (water, Algal Oil, Sea Salt, Sunflower Oil, Seaweed Powder (Seaweed, Salt), Citric Acid, Onion Powder, Yeast Extract (Yeast, Salt), Garlic Powder, Soy Lecithin) are for preservation and flavor. 

So there’s nothing in here that looks questionable. No chemical or “natural flavor” that is added to enhance the look or taste. For that, I think their ingredient list is pretty reasonable for something that is “fake meat”.

The look

If I were to do a side by side comparison of Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna with regular tuna, I would think that they are just about the same. 

This doesn’t surprise me as the vegan food industry has been pretty good about mimicking the look of real meat, starting with Impossible’s “bleeding” meat patties.

So at this point, I would expect any “fake meat” product to look close to their animal-based counterparts. 

Vegan tuna

The texture

Whereas most vegan meat products are typically able to match the look of “real meat”, it’s usually the texture that some vegan meat products can’t get right.

For Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna though, they are about 90% there. 

They’ve managed to match the chunky tuna-fish texture you’d find in canned tuna. However, Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna is more on the dry side compared with regular tuna. 

This is most likely due to the protein blend that is used to make their tuna in the first place. The protein isolates and flours that are included in their blend tend to soak up a lot of water and dry things out. 

So I wouldn’t say that Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna is a 1 to 1 match to the texture of real tuna, but boy does it come close. 

vegan tuna

The flavor

Combined with the tuna-like texture, there’s nothing about Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna that would make you question whether you were eating tuna or not.

The only difference I’d call out is the saltiness. Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna is not as salty as regular tuna, just by virtue of it not being an actual animal that lived amongst sea salt.

I consider that a “plus” in this case. Honestly, I was worried I wouldn’t like the flavor of Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna, anticipating it to be too fishy and salty for my taste. But there’s no overpowering fishy nor salty taste here that will put you off. 

The macronutrients

The macronutrients of Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna are pretty close to that of regular tuna. 

Since Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna is trying to mimic Albacore tuna, then we’ll compare the macros of both:

comparing vegan and real tuna

So the calories, carbs, fat, and protein are about the same, with Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna having slightly less protein and slightly more carbs and fat than regular tuna. 

Still, for something that is not meat but is trying to be meat, it’s quite impressive how close Good Catch is able to match the macronutrients of real tuna. 

The price

This is where you might think twice about buying Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna: the price tag.

Whereas regular tuna can be bought for as cheap as $1.50 per can, Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna comes in at a whopping $5 a pouch.

Yes, you are definitely paying more to eat “not tuna” than you would eating the real thing, but it’s still cheaper than going out to eat and buying a tuna fish sandwich, and you are rarely (if ever) going to find a restaurant that sells vegan tuna fish sandwiches anyway. So the way I see it, it may be pricey, but that is the price you pay for something that is pretty rare. 

The takeaway

Even after eating Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna, I still don’t have a strong craving for tuna. 

Yes, I think Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna has good flavor and texture and comes pretty close to tasting and being (from a macronutrient standpoint) like its real canned tuna counterpart. But tuna just still isn’t my thing. 

I do however, continue to gravitate toward Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna for the high-protein content. To me, it’s a really quick and easy, on-the-go way to add a bunch of protein to my high-protein diet. 

But even if you aren’t concerned about eating a high-protein diet, I would still recommend Good Catch’s Naked in Water Fish Free Tuna as a good vegan, fish-free alternative for those who do have a tuna fish craving.

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