A Vegan Fried Egg
Why bother? You may ask.
I’m not overly fussed about the things I ate when I wasn’t vegan. For instance, meat and dairy really don’t bother me. I don’t feel the need to replicate the taste, nor do I miss the flavours.
What I do miss is the association and feelings surrounding these things. So on a Sunday morning, I love making myself a vegan bacon sarnie. It feels like tradition almost, a very British habit.
And all this vegan bacon sarnie was missing was a fried egg with a runny creamy yolk.
Plus I love a good experiment (eggsperiment…)
I’ll be honest with you, the thought of eating an actual egg repulses me. I remember that horrible translucent globular bit that never used to cook properly. Ew.
Beginning my Eggsperiment
So what is it I want to achieve?
I want to create a fried egg replica without all the horrible bits. I used to enjoy the rich runny yolk and the way it would soak up into the bread. Paired with good vegan bacon, you can’t really go wrong.
How will I do it?
I will be trying to make the two components of the fried egg. Both the egg white and the egg yolk. The egg white doesn’t scare me as much as the egg yolk does.
Having used rice flour and other similar flours in Asian cooking, in particular, for making vegan pancakes (like Vietnamese Banh Xeo), I know that a crispy egg white will be quite easy to achieve.
Especially since an egg white doesn’t taste of much – it just forms the crispy base for a lovely runny yolk.
The yolk however will be the tricky bit. Spherification requires science. And I am a creative, definitely not a scientist. So let the fun begin…!
And I will be leading you along the way through this blog post, with regular updates, with videos, as I progress in my eggsperiment.
Who knows how long this will go on for, but it will be fun. Right?
2 Versions of Vegan Fried Egg
Now I know that some of you just want things to be easy. It’s Sunday morning, who can really be bothered to whack out their science equipment and put on their best pair of goggles.
Well I’ve got you covered. I’m making 2 versions of this recipe. The ‘easy Sunday morning vegan egg recipe‘, and the ‘Veggsperiment recipe’ – click on the links to direct you to your chosen recipe!
Please note, the Easy Sunday Morning Vegan Egg Recipe is complete. I will not be making any changes to this. But the Veggsperiment Recipe is most definitely a work in progress. Please just use this if you also like having fun playing around with vegan food.
When I finally complete this egg mission, I’ll be updating you all here & on my Instagram!
Easy Sunday Morning Vegan Egg Recipe
1st experiment. Mastering the flavours of the vegan egg.
This will recipe acts as the base to all my eggsperimenting.
The base of this recipe is so simple, yet so tasty. It would be incredibly easy to fry the egg white mix like you would a normal egg, and then serve it up alongside a yolk sauce.
You’ll only be missing out on the ‘burst’ of the egg yolk.
So for you easy morning people, this is the vegan egg recipe for you!
Vegan Egg Recipe
- Powerful blender
- Metal rings (crumpet size) – only if you have them. Not 100% necessary!
Vegan Egg Yolk
- 200 g plant milk - I use oat
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 40 g nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp black salt
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tbsp agave
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp tomato powder - only if you have!
Vegan Egg White
- 100 ml plant milk - I use oat
- 100 ml aquafaba
- 75 g silken tofu
- 80 g rice flour
- 20 g tapioca flour - if you don't have, use more rice flour
- 1/2 tsp black salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp caster sugar
Vegan Egg Yolk
- Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Put into a bowl for serving
Vegan Egg White
- Clean the blender and add all the egg white ingredients until it, blend until smooth.
- Get a frying pan on the hob on a medium to high heat
- If you have them, place the metal rings into the hot pan and pour spoonfuls of the mix into the rings. If you don't pour the mix into the pan and let it form its own shape (like a fried egg would).
- Cook the vegan egg whites in the rings for about 4 minutes, until crispy on the bottom. Then you can remove the rings and either flip the whites over to cook the over side (much quicker), or you can put a lid on the top of the pan and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the egg whites from the pan and place onto a slice of bread, or even better, an English breakfast muffin.
- Pour the egg yolk mix over the top
- Enjoy your lazy Sunday morning in vegan egg paradise!
Okay now we’ve filtered out all those boring lazy people (let’s hope they aren’t reading this bit ?) we can begin with the fun bits.
I will be detailing all my Veggsperiments here in an open and honest format. Inventing recipes isn’t easy, especially not when you are tackling one of the hardest vegan recipes that exists – THE VEGAN EGG.
I by no means think that I will be able to come up with THE perfect vegan fried egg, but I will give it my best shot. And hopefully, through this I can show all of you the process and time that goes into creating some of these vegan recipes.
Because vegan recipes aren’t all Instagram friendly, and pretty from the get-go!
Right, let’s get cracking…
Vegan Fried Egg Experiment #1
So I have the base recipe – see above.
Now I need to work on the vegan egg yolk. We want a liquid shell around each vegan egg yolk so that we can get it to burst open.
So after much researching, I realised I needed to buy two very science-y ingredients:
They sound quite scary to me, but actually they are quite natural ingredients. Sodium alginate is made from algae and when it meets calcium, it forms a gel like substance.
So you’ll need one of these ingredients placed internally in the mix and the other externally to form the ‘shell’
Veggsperiment #1: First Steps
So to begin I made the yolk mix, added in some calcium chloride to the mix, and poured the mix into mini silicone cake moulds (like round ice cube trays). I placed them in the freezer to get them to set, which I was hoping would make the spherification process easier.
Then I prepared the sodium alginate as the external binder. This required blending it with a load of filtered water.
I didn’t use filtered water.
I thought, bugger that, I’m too lazy. But yeah, this is science, not a lazy Sunday morning breaky.
So upon meeting the water, the sodium alginate started to form a gel-like substance. And when blending it, it was really bubbly and globular. Not thin and smooth like I was hoping.
I didn’t let this defeat me though, so I continued battling through. Only to find that when the egg yolk met the sodium alginate mix that it form loads of gel like balls around the outside.
But it did at least stay within a shell! – got to look at the positives haha.
This meant that the egg yolk was horrible to eat. I’d actually recreated that horrible translucent globular bit that you get in real eggs. Not at all what I intended to do.
Veggsperiment #1 over and out.
Vegan Fried Egg Experiment #2
Having had such a terrible experience with the sodium alginate, I decided instead to stick it inside the egg yolk mix instead, and use the calcium chloride on the outside to bind.
Veggsperiment #2: First Steps
So having learnt from last time, I knew how quickly sodium alginate reacts to calcium. And the egg yolk mix is full of calcium (from the plant milk).
Therefore, the sodium alginate should be mixed with the dry ingredients first, and then blended in quickly with the wet ingredients.
This worked perfectly – yay for some success!
Next up I made the calcium chloride mix, but mixing it with some tap water, following the instructions on the box.
I didn’t bother freezing the egg yolk this time, seemed like an unnecessary faff last time. I got a big soup spoon ready, got an egg yolk shaped dish out, and pour in a little of the calcium mix. With the spoon, I dropped in some egg yolk mix to the dish and then delicately covered it in some more calcium chloride mix. I was able to the swirl it around the dish and it formed a yolk shaped mix inside the calcium chloride mix. YAY!
I tipped the mix out into my hand (over a sink!), and then placed the yolk in water. It stayed in the yolk shape. I repeated this until I ran out of mix.
So far, all was going well!
I prepped my egg whites, using a metal ring, and then got the egg yolks ready to place on top, but caused the most gigantic mess.
Firstly, the vegan egg yolks don’t quite like the heat of the egg whites. So they’d burst and flop all over the place.
Secondly, they had no where to slot in. They looked like two separate components brought together at the last minute – because they were I guess haha.
Next Veggsperiment Ponderings
So, I’m thinking next time that I need a stronger shell (maybe more calcium chloride in the mix? or maybe swapping the calcium and sodium back again and using actual filtered water haha). And I also need a dip in the egg white mix, so the yolk can just sit there without flopping around all over the place.