Sunday, August 8, 2010
Vegan poached eggs + black salt!
First, the yolk. Earlier I'd posted about making vegan egg yolks, but I'm going to re-post it now with a slightly easier to follow and more flexible recipe.
Vegan egg yolk
makes 2 large yolks
1/2 tbsp Vegenaise
1 1/4 tsp carrot juice (you can just squeeze this out of a grated carrot)
2 tbsp vegetable broth
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1 1/4 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. (On edit: I've had more dependable results folding the Vegenaise in after the other ingredients have had a chance to set up.) Microwave for 20 seconds. Now depending on the initial temperature of your ingredients, keep microwaving in small increments, always under 10 seconds, whisking briskly between each session. Once the mixture is hot, the sessions should be no more than 6 seconds each, or the mixture may separate. You'll know when this happens, and if it does, there's nothing you can do about it but start over. The finished yolk will look like this:
Now make the egg white. I tried several ways of doing this, including frying tofu, actually creating an egg white out of the omelet recipe from Vegan Brunch and poaching it--doable but I wasn't too keen on the result--poaching tofu (which is actually what you see in most of these pictures) and, finally and most successfully, microwaving tofu for a minute in a covered container. Here's the microwaved one:
It's important to use the right kind of tofu to get the texture you want. Use the "fresh" kind, by which I mean the tofu that comes packed in plastic containers of water. It's nice and soft and has an "eggy" texture. Firm or extra-firm is too firm for this. Slice off a piece about 3/4 inch thick and, if you wish, carve it into a roundish shape. Place it in a shallow bowl, cover, and microwave for 1 minute or until the tofu is hot. Now the genius part. Microwaving the tofu makes it give up its water. Place a spatula over the tofu in the bowl to hold it firmly there, and turn the bowl upside down over the sink. Apply gentle pressure. Quite a lot of water should flow out. When you're satisfied that you have the texture you want, cut a hole in the middle of the slab. This is where the yolk will go. Place the hot tofu on a slice of bread:
Now take the part you cut out, the hole, and cut a thin slice of that, and place it in the bottom of the hole in the larger slab to keep the yolk from flowing down into the bread right away:
Spoon in some yolk:
Almost done! Now you add the magic ingredient: black salt (and you also see black pepper; the salt I sprinkled on was the powder, not the chunks). I have to thank Andrea for both convincing me and guilting me into finally seeking some of this out. You can get it in Indian grocery stores, which is where I found mine.
What the heck is black salt? According to Wikipedia, "Kala namak...also known as black salt or black Indian salt, is a salty and pungent smelling condiment used in India. The condiment is composed largely of sodium chloride with several impurities lending the salt its colour and smell....Sodium chloride provides kala namak with its salty taste, iron sulphide provides its dark violet hue, and all the sulphur compounds give kala namak its slight bitter taste as well as a highly distinctive smell, with hydrogen sulphide being the most prominent contributor to the smell." What does it smell like? You guessed it! Eggs! What does it taste like? Why yes, it tastes just like eggs. Who knew that the taste of eggs could be replicated so easily? Not me, that's for sure. To me, fresh tofu sprinkled with black salt tastes exactly like egg white, and I do mean exactly.
I tried putting some of it in the tofu poaching water (and incidentally putting it into the Vegan Brunch omelet mix) but couldn't really taste it in the result. It's best just to sprinkle it on afterwards.
This was so real it was almost scary, and so good I'll be making it again and again:
The tomato, by the way, is the first of the Sweet Millions from my two giant plants. How did it taste? Sweet! How many will I get off these monsters? Oh, millions!