This will be the second review for Mong Lee Shang hot flavored vegetarian imitation beef jerky. In actuality, this flavor is a hot based mushroom jerky. The ingredient list has since changed, the bag design has been tweaked, and the flavor name has been changed. This whopping 5.6 ounces/160 grams bag was purchased at a Season’s Foodmart store in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
This jerky is distributed by a company named DYI Hong Co., Ltd. located in Tapei. Taiwan. Almost nothing is known about this company, as their web site does not work anymore. An email address is printed on the bag, but emails sent to them come back as undeliverable.
Ingredients: Mushroom 90%, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Soysauce (Water, Soybeans, Wheat, Salt, Sugar), Chili, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate (E202)Certificate Color: FD&C Red No. 40 (E129). Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
These mushrooms used believed to be shiitake are a good source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and are cholesterol free. Mushrooms are a great source (other than the sun) for vitamin D, and are high on the minerals iron and selenium. The ingredient rating starts at Good (8/10).
The heat is achieved from using chili powder. Hot peppers are healthy if eaten in moderation, which flushes toxins out of the body.
The sugar level is on the high side at around 6 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or under per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is very low around at only 94mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
Well, slap my ass and call me Sally! The Mong Lee Shang – Hot Vegetarian Imitation Beef Jerky aroma is nothing to really write home about. It is rather terrible in fact, it is an overpowering and pungent mixture of mushroom paired with an elusive odor or substance. It can be quite a turn off but I’ve managed to pinch my nose long enough to take a bite. I was surprised to find out that it tastes OK …once I got past the little taste of “Je ne sais quoi”.
I’ve referred to the bag and read the Ingredient List, as I was hoping to identify this mystery ingredient. Let’s just say some things are better left alone. I now can’t get some images out of my head and I can’t unread the ingredients list with such warnings as: “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention of children”.
As I am trying to come to terms with the feeling that I just ate my old High School Science Project, I am only left with even more questions. This ‘jerky’ is made with 90% mushrooms and God knows what else. I can’t imagine the sugar, oils, soy sauce and various coloring, preservatives and other chemicals etc. can make up for the remaining 10%.
On a more positive note, this mushroom jerky has significant mushroom flavor, moderately sweet and a slight spicy kick. Paul, Mark and I all felt this jerky is not too bad after all and we all thought it tasted better than expected. One may argue this mushroom jerky is a tad too sweet but that may also be one of the things that makes it more bearable to eat.
These pieces are generally small in size and sliced medium to thin in thicknesses. The texture is dry and requires some effort to chew. The texture is chewier and more chewing action is needed in comparison with beef.
Although this Mong Lee Shang – Hot Vegetarian Imitation Beef Jerky feels as if it was concocted by Dr. Frankenstein in his lab just outside of Chernobyl, it tastes fine. Mark first tried this jerky back in 2012 and said this version is much more palatable.
On the other hand, our mascot Lexi had zero interest in this ‘jerky’. She took a bite; she spitted it out and went on with her journey while letting a little fart go, as she disappeared into the sunset.
We’ve awarded this mushroom jerky a 6/10 taste rating.
This bag plastic bag has everything imprinted on the bag itself, both on the front and back. Some things on this bag are translated into 6 different languages (English, Mandarin, French, Dutch, Italian, German). There are some drawings of mushrooms scattered around this bag. A number of things are printed in Mandarin without English translations.
A slogan printed on this bag is “Ready to Eat!”. The only fact printed on this bag is “Product of Taiwan”. One warning printed on this bag is disturbing: “E129: may have an adverse effect on activity and attention of children.”
Some missing bag categories missing are a blurb printed about the company/flavor, allergen alerts, and the bag is not resealable. There is a best before date printed, but it’s printed in Mandarin, which is not of much help.