If you have been wondering what you can use as a vegan substitute for fried eggs (for example to make a vegan fried egg sandwich) wonder no more! Our vegan egg substitute for frying is easy, straight-forward, super-healthful, full of protein (just like eggs) and tasty as all get out! In fact, it’s actually reminiscent of fried eggs, not just in texture and looks, but in how it tastes!
There are two primary ingredients that you need to make these vegan fried eggs: water-packed tofu that you find in the refrigerated section (not the shelf-stable stuff, we use the tofu from Costco and it is perfect for this), and black salt.
What is Black Salt?
If you haven’t ever run into or used black salt before, you may be wondering just what is black salt, and why would the color of the salt matter? Black salt is found primarily in cuisines of Southeast Asia, where it is known as ‘Kala namak’. It is chiefly mined in areas around the Himalayas, where it is also known as Himalayan black salt. It is a rock salt (mined from rocks), and it isn’t even black – it’s usually pink, and can even be purple – so we have no idea why it’s called black salt. Kala namak actually means ‘black salt’ in Hindi (which looks like this in Sanskrit: काला नमक). In India, among other things, Kala namak is revered among Ayurvedic practitioners for being helpful with digestion and digestive issues.
Of course we can’t vouch for black salt’s healing properties, but what we can vouch for is its use in vegan dishes: black salt has, as part of its composition, a bit of sulfur, which means that when used it imparts an egg-like flavor to food. You can find this magic secret ingredient at Indian grocery stores, but if you don’t have an Indian grocery store nearby, or if you just don’t want to leave the house to go looking for it, you can order the same black salt that we use here on Amazon.
When you first open a new bottle of black salt the eggy (sulfur) smell can be a bit strong; in fact we keep newly opened bottles of black salt stored in a ziploc bag for that reason. However over time the smell gets much fainter while, happily, the flavor remains the same. That flavor is basically salt with a bit of eggy flavor mixed in. Trust us, it works beautifully for the purpose. Here’s the recipe.
Easy Fabulous Vegan Egg Substitute for Fried Eggs
1 block refrigerated tofu, drained and pressed (see directions below) – we use the tofu from Costco, which works really well for this recipe.
A small amount of oil for frying
Press the tofu very well. We use the Tofuture tofu press and it works really well. It has 3 different levels of pressure, and we start out with the weakest level, wait 15-20 minutes, then go to the medium level, wait 15 to 20 minutes, and then go to the 3rd (maximum pressure) level, and wait 15 to 20 minutes. This results in a very firm tofu which holds together extremely well both when cutting and frying it. (We actually have three different tofu presses, including one for when we make homemade tofu, but this one is the one that we use for everyday use.)
The tofu press that we use for this
Once your tofu is fully pressed, remove it from the press and cut it in half across the middle like this:
Then cut one of the halves into thirds, like this:
(See how nice and firm that press gets that tofu?)
NOTE: If you prefer, you can slice the tofu horizontally into wide ‘planks’, and then cut circles out of it with a biscuit cutter, but we choose not to do that because a) it’s more of a hassle, and b) it wastes a lot of tofu unless you are going to toss the remains into a soup or stuff or stir-fry or whathaveyou. On the other hand, doing so would make it even more egg-like in appearance, so that’s up to you!
Now sprinkle each piece with the black salt and the pepper, turn them over, and sprinkle the other side as well.
Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan, and fry those suckers up! The incredible thing is that not only do these taste not unlike eggs, but the texture is similar and, when you fry them in a bit of oil, they even can get crispy eggy “skin” bits like real eggs do!
Now, of course, you can use these for whatever you like, however we like to make vegan fried egg sandwiches with them!
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