Hong Kong cooks up lab-grown fish as appetite for ‘clean meat’ rises

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HONG KONG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When chef Eddy Leung was tasked with cooking what was touted as the world’s first lab-grown fish fillets in his kitchen in southwestern Hong Kong, he pan-fried some and deep-fried others before finally deciding on breaded fish burgers with tartare sauce.

“Before I cooked the fish it was quite firm, but after I cooked it the texture changed to being like real fish,” Leung said of the culinary experiment that took place in the gritty Wong Chuk Hang neighbourhood late last year.

The fillets tasted and smelled like normal fish, but with the consistency of crab cakes, he said.

Made by Hong Kong-based food tech startup Avant Meats, the fish on Leung’s stove represents a key step toward meeting growing global demand for meat and seafood without jeopardizing climate goals, said Elaine Siu, managing director of the nonprofit Good Food Institute (GFI) Asia-Pacific.

“Cultivated meat gives consumers the animal protein they want without having to deplete the oceans or chop down the rainforest to get it,” she said.



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