Whole Foods will offer vegan 'sushi' with a raw tuna substitute. We tried i


On a 2004 trip to Japan, chef James Corwell visited Tsukiji fish market, the largest fish market in the world. While strolling the market in the early morning, he came across two football field-sized warehouses full of tuna. By mid-morning, the rooms were empty, the tuna sold and on its way to sushi restaurants all over the country.

“I thought, how are the oceans supposed to keep up?” said Corwell as he prepared a maki roll of sushi at the Whole Foods office in Glendale. “And this happens every day, all over the world.”

The chef, who has worked at Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant in Napa Valley and Le Foret in New Orleans, decided to do something about fish sustainability. He started to develop a tuna substitute called Ahimi (“ahi” is tuna, and “mi” means spirit in Japanese). Whole Foods will start selling his faux tuna, in the form of vegan sushi, at select Los Angeles markets on Nov. 1.

Ahimi looks like tuna, with its deep reddish pink color and a glossy, slightly wrinkled exterior, but it’s completely plant-based.