Eggless Eggs

I know I’m a vegan.  I know I’m supposed to embrace all things vegan, including tofu.  I know I’m supposed to get super excited about faux carnivore dishes.  But this one? Amped is not the word I’d use to describe my attitude about making eggless eggs.

Nonetheless, here I go!  In the spirit of this adventure I donned the most appropriate garment I had for the occasion:

VegApron

I’m tired of ruining shirts and sometimes shorts with the errant squirt or enthusiastic splash, so I purchased this apron and I use it regularly. Why is it then that numerous shirts have been ruined but the apron – after many, many uses has hardly any stains on it?

Weird.

Anyway, I had to look on the interweb about whether I needed to strain the extra firm tofu, because I had no clue whatsoever. It turned out that straining it was recommended.  I took the advice of several random people’s comments and put the tofu between two folds of a kitchen towel and set something heavy on top and let that sit for about an hour before I used it. That seemed to work just fine. The tofu wasn’t the least big soggy or runny, or whatever tofu can be like if it has too much liquid in it.

The recipe was easy to make. I made the egg salad and prepared my sandwich as I usually would, with two pieces of slightly toasted sourdough, Vegenaise, onions and a few thin slices of a baseball tomato. I was out of lettuce or else I’d have included that too.

The sandwich was much better than expected! The flavor was outstanding but the texture definitely gave it away, in spite of my following the recipe pretty closely. I ended up using slightly more of the same ingredients than the original recipe called for but that was the only change I made. The egg salad was very tasty and it acted just like the real thing. But again, the texture gave it away. It wasn’t as creamy or smooth as I remember regular egg salad being. In spite of the very good flavor it was clear I wasn’t eating eggs. But that’s ok and was not unexpected.

This is a recipe I’m definitely going to be making again. In the future I will play around with the texture and see if I can’t improve upon it some. The flavor was good and that’s what I was going for. And next time I think I’ll only make half a sandwich as a whole one was a bit too filling.

So without further ado, here is the recipe as I made it.

Vegan Egg Salad

1 package (14 oz) extra-firm tofu, drained (pre-cubed works well; you don’t have to smash it as much)

4 Tbsp Veganaise (+/- to taste and for texture)

1/2 tsp grated horseradish (+/- to taste)

Several fat squirts of yellow mustard (+/- to taste and to get the right shade of yellow)

A fat pinch or two of kala namak (Himalayan black salt, +/- to taste)

Chopped scallions (the green part) to taste

Mix all the ingredients except the green onions, mashing the cubes of tofu until they’re no longer cubes.  After the mashing is complete add the scallions and serve.

While I’m not the least bit fond of horseradish, it’s absolutely essential in this dish. Don’t omit it even if you’re like me and hate it. The horseradish I bought came in a jar in tiny, tiny chunks so there was no grating necessary.

I also highly recommend going out of your way to find the Himalayan black salt as it has a distinct flavor that is uniquely suited for this. Be aware though that it isn’t really black. It’s sort of pinkish to purple in color. I would not substitute it with another kind of salt because it just wouldn’t work. The Himalayan black salt is a must with the horseradish, mustard and green onions.

So today, not only did I learn a new dish that I’m sure I’ll be making again, but I finally conquered my fear of preparing and eating tofu! One fear down, 2.37 x 108 fears to go. Working with tofu wasn’t nearly as heinous as I thought it was going to be, although it did feel kind of funny. That’s ok though. I think I’ll get used to it just fine.

(You know what I find most interesting about unreasonable and irrational fears? Once I face them, they’re never as bad as I thought they were going to be.)

I have enough left over to make a breakfast burrito or two. I think that’ll be dinner tomorrow night. I’ll stop and get some bacon bits from Native Sun and add some green chills, onions, some homemade salsa and a tiny bit of cheddar.

On a scale of ‘blech’ to ‘OMG’, I’d give the eggless eggs a ‘pretty good’.

I’d like to thank my friend and vegan mentor, Bill, for this great recipe. Thanks Bill!

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