After blitzing the restaurant world with Impossible Burger, an actually good ground beef replacement, Impossible Foods is back with plant-based pork, and soon you’ll be able to order it from your favorite restaurants.
We first tried Impossible Pork back at CES 2020, and it was good! Nearly two years later, it’ll finally be available to taste in the real world, first at Momofuku Ssäm Bar at Pier 17 in New York City before a wider rollout next month.
Impossible’s Pork Made from Plants (yes, that’s its official name) is available in ground meat form, similar to the original Impossible Burger. The company also makes Impossible Sausage and Impossible Chicken Nuggets, the latter of which recently became available in select U.S. restaurants earlier this month.
More than 100 restaurant locations in Hong Kong are set to begin serving Impossible Pork starting Oct. 4, with additional restaurants in Singapore offering the meat substitute later this fall.
If you’ve tried Impossible Burger, you know that Impossible’s fake meat doesn’t exactly replicate the taste of traditional beef, though it does come close. Early feedback from 200 taste testers in Hong Kong who tried the new fake pork was positive. Impossible claims that 56% of people actually prefer Impossible Pork to traditional ground pork.
In terms of health benefits, Impossible says its pork has 37% fewer calories and 59% less total fate than regular 70/30 USDA ground pork, and is also certified free of gluten, nitrates, and antibiotics.
Pork isn’t as popular as beef or chicken in the U.S., but Impossible’s pork alternative is perfect for Chinese dishes and in many other Asian cuisines where pork is often the default protein (see: dumplings, stir-fried noodles, and spring rolls).
At Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Impossible Pork will be highlighted in the restaurant’s spicy rice cake dish, which comes with a new Impossible Pork ragu (sounds delicious).
It’s possible that Impossible has tweaked the formula for its fake pork since I tried it back at CES 2020, but I thought Impossible Pork tasted better than the original Impossible Burger. Not only does it have a slightly nutty taste that lends itself quite well to pork (nuttiness is often a prized flavor in premium pork products like Iberico ham), it also has a bit of extra chewiness (not unlike what you get from seitan) that should be a good fit for dishes like dumplings, shumai, and other dim sum. But like Impossible Burger, while the overall flavor is quite close, there are enough subtle differences in texture and aftertaste that keen tasters can still discern that Impossible Pork isn’t the real thing.
Sadly, there aren’t any additional details on when more U.S. restaurants will begin serving Impossible Pork or when Impossible Pork might hit grocery store shelves. Gizmodo has reached out to Impossible Foods for more information, and we will update the story if we hear back.
[Update: 3:00 PM ET] Impossible has followed up with more information about Impossible Pork’s U.S. availability, which includes Dan Dan Noodles from Lucas Sin’s Nice Day Chinese Takeout starting on Sept.27, and Asian Box locations around San Francisco. Impossible says Impossible Pork will also become available for order from more restaurant distributors in the coming weeks.