We tried the vegan burgers made from kelp

Could kelp burgers really taste like meat?

It’s probably not a question most people have ever asked themselves. In fact, up until a few months ago, this writer never even knew kelp burgers existed.

But that all changed thanks to sustainable food company Akua. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based brand specializes in meat substitutes that are, quite literally, made of seaweed.

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It sounds a little bizarre, but there are all kinds of reasons to give these things a chance.

Not only is kelp chock-full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but it’s also environmentally friendly. Whereas beef burgers add a huge amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, kelp actually helps remove it.

So when Akua reached out about letting us sample a few kelp burgers, we decided to see if the flavor can match the ethos. To see what happened, watch the video above or keep reading below.

How good are kelp burgers, really?

We sampled these burgers in two formats. First, as a lone, pan-cooked patty and then as a full burger with all the toppings and sauces.

Both taste tests caught us by surprise. The kelp burgers have a deep, savory flavor that’s close to a black bean burger but a little more textured and complex. Our main concern was that these might taste a little fishy, but that wasn’t the case at all.

When served on a bun with veggies, cheese, ketchup and mustard, they went to another level. It’s true these patties don’t taste exactly like meat, but they’re not necessarily trying to. And when it comes to putting together a juicy burger for grill season, they definitely do the trick.

Our only complaint was the lack of firmness. If not cooked just right, these things do start to crumble and fall apart. On a bun, it’s not a big deal. But if you’re eating them with a knife or fork, it can get a little messy.

Overall, though, this was one of the best meat substitutes we’ve ever tried on this show. We’d definitely recommend trying kelp burgers, especially as summer gets into full swing.

If you liked this story, check out our video on how to make doughnuts in an air fryer.

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