Judging by the recipes I’ve posted, you’d think I spend all my time making vegan egg & dairy alternatives. I do make other things, but I figure that these recipes are more of a novelty & people might appreciate it if I share my experiments. I might post some more “normal” recipes in future, but for now, I give you the Vegan Poached “Egg”. In the photos, I’ve served mine on a toasted crumpet with wilted baby spinach, some little crispy pan-fried bits of homemade smoky maple seitan , & ground black pepper.
Transitioning over from vegetarianism to veganism, one of the things I’ve missed most is eggs for breakfast – breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! But I used to have occasional phases where I was totally off eggs & found them icky, so vegan eggs are much better in lots of ways. Rather more time & effort is needed than simply cracking an egg, but it’s worth it, & the good thing about this recipe is it makes four “eggs” & you can reheat any leftovers in the microwave.
I often make this hollandaise sauce recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan, which is really delicious & gives simple pan-fried tofu a kind of “runny yolk” element when making Tofu Florentine. That was my starting point for developing a tofu poached egg. Feel free to add black salt to this recipe if you want to add some extra eggy flavour, but I haven’t included it because I’m not 100% sold on the idea. I associate that sulfurous smell with eggs that aren’t super fresh (yuck), so I’m happy with my poached eggs not being that eggy! All a matter of personal taste…
Another couple of notes on my recipe… Since taking these photos, I’ve reduced the amount of margarine in the “yolk”. Although it tasted good, as it warmed up while poaching, the sauce split a little. I could have added some extra cornflour to emulsify it a bit more, but didn’t want the consistency any thicker, so reduced the fat content instead (which isn’t a bad thing!).
The brand of tofu you choose will affect the texture & flavour. It must be Silken Firm Tofu. If it’s not silken, it will be too grainy, & if it’s not Firm Silken, it will be too soft to hold together. If you’re in Australia, I recommend TLY Joyce Silken Firm Tofu. It’s very mild with only a slight tofu-y taste, so works perfectly here (& is great for making desserts too). It’s readily available in most supermarkets & is only around $2.00 a packet.
The first time I experimented with poaching a tofu egg, I just used arrowroot flour in the white mixture. It was okay, & held together well, but I found the texture a tad too soft & pasty, so next time, I added a little agar agar powder to get the texture closer to a soft poached egg. I know that powdered agar isn’t readily available everywhere -& you can not use agar flakes instead because they probably won’t dissolve & gel properly just from gentle poaching -so if you can’t find agar powder, just omit it.
Lastly, I use silicone egg poaching pods & my trusty old cast iron frying pan with a glass lid. Four of them fit in easily. I recommend these pods because they’re so easy to use, but I guess it depends on what you have at hand.
I think that covers everything. Recipe below!