WE MET OUR GOAL IN 6 DAYS! WE'RE NOW ADDING EGGPLANT UNAGI AS A $25,000 STRECH GOAL. SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE INFO.
Sushi is Awesome. Extinction is Not.
Tuna is by far the most popular fish used in sushi, yet experts warn that Bluefin Tuna – "The King of Sushi" – are so overfished that the species may be on the brink of extinction. With Tomato Sushi, we've created a sustainable, plant-based alternative to vulnerable tuna, with an authentic look and a great taste.
Yes, Tomato Sushi is made of tomatoes, but the texture and flavor of the tomato are transformed through sous vide cooking. Tomato Sushi was designed to be a delicious alternative to ahi tuna with a savory, meaty taste. It’s still a tomato, but its appearance and texture are almost indistinguishable from raw tuna.
Tomato Sushi was created to be something that everyone can enjoy – it's vegan and gluten-free, pregnant women and children can eat it, and people who just don't like fish love it, too!
The idea for Tomato Sushi first started to take shape at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, where Chef James Corwell saw two football-field sized warehouses full of tuna sold in one morning. Corwell – one of only 60 Certified Master Chefs in the world – saw the incredible volume of tuna that is sold in just one day, and asked the question: “How can the oceans ever keep up?”
The answer is “They can’t.” According to a study published in the journal Nature, 90% of all large predatory fish (like tuna) are already gone, and the rate of fishing isn't slowing down.
So, when he was given the challenge of making some vegetarian sushi for a client, Corwell started working on something that could make a difference to the world’s oceans: Tomato Sushi.
With a taste that even fish eaters will love, Tomato Sushi gives sushi chefs a great tasting, authentically flavored, vegetarian sushi option that delivers the full sushi experience.
Made from just six natural ingredients, Tomato Sushi is free of mercury, PCBs, and other toxic chemicals. It's also a green alternative to tuna that you can eat without worrying about the environmental and sustainability problems related to overfishing. And with tomatoes as the main ingredient, you'll get all of the health benefits of lycopene, potassium, flavonoids, and vitamins A, C and E.
Most importantly, Tomato Sushi is delicious! Everyone who tries Tomato Sushi loves it! With a meaty, savory, taste and texture, it's a remarkably rich-tasting, substantial, balanced food product that's very fish-like when combined with rice.
What People Are Saying About Tomato Sushi
The taste is wonderful. It has that bite, it has that crispness that tuna would have, only it is a vegetarian product. – Gregory Baccari, Seafood distributor for All Seas Wholesale, Inc.
I was amazed when I saw it. I thought it looked exactly like tuna, and I couldn't believe that it wasn't. – Nancy, Vegan Taste-Tester
I could not be more excited to have his new vegan product that takes the place of fish in a really sustainable, compassionate way. - Stephanie Frankle, San Francisco Director of The Humane League
NEW STRETCH GOAL: $25,000 FOR EGGPLANT UNAGI
We wanted to do something special once we hit the 100% mark, so we’re excited to announce two new products that will be available if we meet a stretch goal of $25,000: Eggplant Unagi, and vegan Togarashi Spice Mix!
Chef Corwell has been perfecting these products for quite some time, and he thought there was no better way to introduce them to the world than by making them available to our Kickstarter backers.
Our unagi has the look, flavor, and texture of eel – without the health, environmental, or ethical issues of eating an animal on the the Greenpeace International Seafood Red List.
If we reach our $25,000 stretch goal:
- Everyone who has pledged at the $29 level and above will receive a sample of our Togarashi Spice Mix at no additional cost.
- The Eggplant Unagi will become available as an add-on to anyone who has selected a reward level that includes our Tomato Sushi vegan tuna.
If you want to add Eggplant Unagi to your pledge, simply adjust your pledge amount, but leave your reward selection the same – at the end of the campaign, you’ll have a chance to tell us exactly what you’d like to receive.
- To add 1 pack of Eggplant Unagi, increase your pledge amount by $15.
- To add 2 packs of Eggplant Unagi increase your pledge amount by $25.
- If you’ve pledged at the $59 level or above, you will be able to switch up to half of your tomato tuna packs out for packs of eggplant unagi without raising your pledge. For the $59 5-pack level, that means switching up to three tuna packs for unagi.
If you're reading this and haven't pledged yet, please consider adding the unagi amounts to your pledge now to get us closer to the stretch goal right away. Kickstarter pledges can be adjusted at any time while a campaign is still running, so if you change your mind, you can lower your pledge before our Kickstarter ends.
Why We Need Your Help
We've worked hard to perfect Tomato Sushi and we know we have a winner – people love the way it looks and tastes, and there's really nothing else like it out there.
We want to make Tomato Sushi available in sushi restaurants in the San Francisco area, then hope to expand to other areas of the country.
To do this, we need to increase our production capacity (right now Brian makes all of the Tomato Sushi himself!). We've had a lot of interest from everyone from tech-startup dining rooms to seafood distributors, but we can't produce enough of the product to explore these opportunities without first securing more commercial kitchen time and adding staff to maintain the quality of our boutique production process as we grow.
We also need to expand our distribution by increasing our business development efforts, and developing relationships with local sushi chefs, restaurant owners, and other distribution channels like food brokers takes money for sushi samples and travel.
What You'll Get
We hope you're excited about our sustainable, healthy, vegan sushi! We'd love to send you some so you can try it for yourself and tell us how much you love it.
Getting some Tomato Sushi tuna delivered right to your door just takes a pledge of $25 or more (including US shipping!). When it arrives, it will look something like this:
You can easily slice these large pieces into three strips each, which are perfect for nigiri or making into rolls. When we reach our goal, we'll create a video that shows you a number of ways you can prepare it.
Your Tomato Sushi with be priority-shipped to your address, and must be refrigerated until you use it. We'll include a cold pack if necessary, but it's okay if the package is warm when you get it. Just pop it in the fridge and use it within ten days of getting it for maximum freshness.
Once you open the package, you should finish your vegan tuna within three days.
Which pack should you pick?
You can make 15-18 pieces of nigiri from one pack of Tomato Sushi tuna, or you can put three or four strips of vegan tuna into a "Tekkamaki" roll and make 5-6 rolls (about 30 individual pieces of sushi). If you like more "fish" in your rolls, you can make 2-3 thicker rolls with one pack.
So, one pack of Tomato Sushi should be enough for a sushi dinner for two, or as part of a larger dinner for four.
You can order more than one and have two (or more) awesome vegan sushi dinners in a week, but since Tomato Sushi is a fresh food product with no preservatives, don't keep it around for too long before you eat it!
What's It Made Of?
It may look and taste more like fish than fruit, but Tomato Sushi really is made of tomatoes. It also contains Organic Tamari (Water, Organic Soybeans, Salt, Organic Alcohol), Herbs, Organic Sugar, Salt, and Rice Vinegar (Water, Rice). Tomato Sushi is gluten free, but the tamari does contain soy, so don't feed Tomato Sushi to soybean-averse friends!
About The Founders
CERTIFIED MASTER CHEF, INVENTOR, CO-FOUNDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Chef James Corwell is the culinary genius behind Tomato Sushi. An Atlanta native, Corwell carries the rare professional designation of ACF Certified Master Chef. He was previously chef at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant - Napa Valley, Le Foret - New Orleans, and Haddingtons - Austin. He was voted best new chef by New Orleans Magazine in 2010. Chef Corwell has represented the US at the international Culinary Olympics twice and has taught at the Culinary Institute of America, as well as in Japan.
KITCHEN COMMANDER, CO-FOUNDER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Brian Doyle was born and raised in New Orleans. After college, he made the decision to pursue a career in cooking. He got his start working under CMC James Corwell at Le Foret for two years. He then helped run Rue 127, also in New Orleans before rejoining Chef Corwell in San Francisco where the two cook together and make Tomato Sushi.
We'd like to thank the following people and groups for helping get Tomato Sushi into the hands of sushi-lovers:
Adam Weiss and Sierra Laidman from AppDemoVideos.com, for creating the Kickstarter video and helping to plan the campaign.
Rainbow Grocery, for making Tomato Sushi available to the people of San Francisco.
Dafni Mejia and Michelle Woo, for help with Tomato Sushi's social media channels.
Dana Weiss from Engage With It, for financial projections and website help.
The SF Vegan Tech Meetup, for hosting tasting events, contributing testimonials, and getting the word out about Tomato Sushi.
Gregory Baccari from All Seas Wholesale and Bob Mametsuka from VeggieWorks, for their participation in the Kickstarter video.
Courtney Barrett, for her food styling expertise during our photoshoots.
Risks and challenges
There are certainly challenges involved in launching any new food product, but we're confident that we can overcome them. The Tomato Sushi team has spent a lot of time developing a high-quality tuna alternative that immediately impresses people both by the way it looks and how it tastes. We know that people love it, and with increasing concerns about the sustainability of tuna, we know that there is a demand for this type of product.
The main challenge we face is raising awareness of what Tomato Sushi is – we need people to understand that it isn’t just a piece of tomato. If we want sushi restaurants to serve Tomato Sushi, they have to be convinced that their customers will order it – and that's where you come in! A successful Kickstarter campaign will be proof that there's a demand, so by pledging to support Tomato Sushi, you'll not only get a delicious cruelty-free food, you'll also be helping to get Tomato Sushi into the hands (and mouths) of others.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)