Singapore–based KARANA is a plant-based meat made primarily of jackfruit, which has long been a favourite meat substitute owing to its texture and reasonably neutral flavour. KARANA uses young organic jackfruit sourced from Sri Lanka, which is supposed to have a low glycaemic index but is high in fibre, magnesium and potassium.
Yes, KARANA is another plant-based meat (and, yes, it has its own little flag too), so what’s different about it? KARANA’s claim to fame is its simplicity, made with only four ingredients and absolutely no isolates, texturates or concentrates.
Chef Neil Tomes of Beef & Liberty with The KARANA Jack Stack
KARANA made its first appearance in Hong Kong this year for Earth Day on 22 April at a pop-up at Shane Osborn’s Arcane, where it was included in a jackfruit mapo tofu dish.
It has now been incorporated into many restaurants’ menus here, one of which is acclaimed Indian eatery CHAAT at Rosewood Hong Kong. CHAAT’s head chef, Manav Tuli, is using KARANA in his baked samosas.
Chef Tuli says, “I have always been in favour of plant-based meat substitutes, and I think KARANA delivers this particularly well. Also, I grew up eating jackfruit, and it has always been one of my favourite vegetables, so we hope to deliver something great with the KARANA-based baked samosas.”
KARANA baked samosas at CHAAT
You can find KARANA right now at:
- CHAAT at Rosewood Hong Kong
- Sip Song by Maximal Concepts
- Emerald in Central
- all Beef & Liberty outlets
- all Elephant Grounds outlets
- Cantonese restaurant Cheung Kung Koon in Causeway Bay
- Deliveroo brand Hot ‘N’ Meen
Check out all the new KARANA dishes available at the bottom of this article.
In addition to restaurant partnerships, KARANA is working with Classic Fine Foods, a leading gourmet food and ingredient distributor, on more expansion plans.
KARANA larb at Sip Song
KARANA co-founder Blair Crichton is born and raised in Hong Kong and is passionate about revolutionising the global food system, particularly in Asia, through this healthy, whole-plant alternative to meat.
Crichton’s co-founder, Dan Riegler, spent years working in agricultural supply chains in developing markets in Southeast Asia, across a wide range of start-ups in agriculture, food tech and fintech. Together, they have put together yet another option for those who are looking to reduce their meat consumption without sacrificing taste. KARANA looks very promising indeed.
KARANA is also planning to launch its retail ready-to-cook dim sum products in Asia in the second half of 2021. Follow them on Instagram to stay updated.
The KARANA dishes available
CHAAT at Rosewood Hong Kong
- Baked KARANA jackfruit samosas ($158)
- Anjeer KARANA jackfruit kofta ($158)
- KARANA spicy tacos ($115)
Young jackfruit meat, spicy tomato salsa, corn, red onion, vegan cheese, pickled jalapeño, coriander, guacamole, mango salsa, spicy tomato sauce
- KARANA BBQ pulled jackfruit burger ($125)
Young jackfruit meat, house-made barbecue sauce, coleslaw and yoghurt with sweet potato fries
Hot ‘N’ Meen
- KARANA ja jang meen 北京炸醬麵 ($91)
Beijing-style noodles with whole-plant meat in soybean paste
- KARANA dan dan meen 擔擔麵 ($91)
Dan dan noodles with whole-plant meat and dried shrimp served in a spicy peanut broth
- KARANA rainbow meen 麻辣涼拌素冷麵 ($91)
Noodles served with whole-plant meat and a colourful range of fresh vegetables, complete with a rich peanut and sesame sauce
- KARANA dumplings in artisanal chilli sauce 紅油抄手 ($73)
Whole-plant meat, cabbage, wood ear mushroom and carrot
- Seared black & white sesame KARANA lotus root patties ($TBC) with teriyaki mayonnaise sauce
- KARANA black pearl cauliflower fungus ($TBC) with spinach sauce
- Larb mangswirati ลาบมังสวิรัติ*
KARANA vegetarian larb, mint, Thai basil, coriander, shallot, chilli, sour dressing
*Sip Song’s KARANA larb is available on their Meatless Mondays sharing menu ($485)
Beef & Liberty
- The KARANA Jack Stack ($128)
KARANA whole-plant pulled pork made from young jackfruit, BBQ sauce, house-made quinoa patty and coleslaw with onion rings
Cheung Kong Koon
- Pan-fried bun stuffed with KARANA & mixed vegetables 生煎菜肉包 ($48)
- Deep-fried spring roll stuffed with KARANA & yam 芋絲炸春捲 ($48)
- KARANA & mixed vegetable wonton soup 菜肉雲吞 ($48)
- Sautéed string beans with minced KARANA & black olives 欖菜肉鬆四季豆 ($188)
- KARANA-stuffed Thai-style lettuce cups 泰式生菜包 ($198)
- Purple fried rice with egg white & minced KARANA 蛋白紫米肉碎炒飯 ($188)
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