Fried Egg: The Vegan’s Answer to a Hearty Breakfast

20130612_181253I am a huge fan of the podcast Our Hen House, a brilliant and inspiring podcast about changing the world for animals. Seriously, it’s amazing, listen to one podcast and you’ll be hooked! They’re even a 2013 Webby Award Official Honoree. On one of their recent podcasts, they interviewed the Shannons, the fantastic duo behind Betty Goes Vegan. This amazing cookbook veganizes 500 iconic Betty Crocker recipes, and one of these fantastic recipes happens to be for a vegan fried egg.

Yes, that’s right. A vegan FRIED EGG. As in that over easy or sunny side-up pocket of yolk in the middle that spills everywhere when you poke it with your fork. I’ve got to admit, I never ever thought it would be possible to veganize a fried egg. Scrambled? Oh yeah, tofu scramble it up. But a fried egg? I was so shocked when I heard them start to speak about this particular gem on the podcast that I tore off my headphones and googled it immediately. And sure enough, right on their blog (you don’t even have to buy the cookbook! Although I suggest you do) is one of the most exciting recipes I’ve encountered in quite some time.

And yes, it’s easy too. Admittedly, I cheated, and although mine tasted just as delicious, the original recipe calls for using a flavor injector (read: a needle for cooking). I didn’t have one, so I improvised. You can see the fancy version on the Meet the Shannons website here. If you don’t have a flavor injector, you can do it my way: and you’ll never think of vegan breakfast the same way ever again.

The Vegan Fried Egg

Ingredients

  • 1 Package of Firm Tofu
  • 1/2 Batch Cheese Sauce (from here)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preparation:

20130609_174024Press and drain your tofu. This is an easy process, which starts with simply removing the tofu from it’s package and wrapping in one or two paper towels. Place the wrapped tofu on a plate with another few paper towels below and above it, and then put something heavy on top for about 20-30 minutes. I used a couple pots, as seen in the picture.

When your tofu is almost fully pressed, prepare a 1/2 batch of the cheese sauce recipe from my Macaroni and Cheese blog, seen here. If you’re familiar with nutritional yeast cheese sauces, make your own favorite version, but if you’re not then you can use what I suggest. And yes, you’ll have lots of leftover sauce (even with a 1/2 batch!) but you can always dip veggies in it or mix it in with some pasta. Personally, I plan to use my extra with tortilla chips and salsa for some killer nachos.

20130609_180344While the sauce is thickening, cut your pressed tofu into four20130609_181124 equal rectangles. Heat a pan with olive oil until sizzling, and then place your tofu into the pan. Simply let the tofu saute until you start to see the edges browning, then turn over and cook the other side. You may want to do this a few times to get the perfect fried consistency.

When the tofu is the perfect amount of crispness, remove from the pan and place on a plate. Carefully (they’re hot!) use a sharp knife to cut out an oval shape in each piece of the tofu, making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom. Then spoon in some of your yummy egg-y cheese-y sauce and place the cut out pieces back on top. The sauce will spill over as if you had just cut into a regular fried egg, although this egg has no cholesterol and doesn’t do any harm to animals. Serve with salt and pepper on top.

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And that’s it! You can enjoy these on their own if you really want, but I’d suggest pairing them with some other breakfast goodies. I made breakfast for dinner, an incredibly hearty meal (I was stuffed afterwords!) that you can see in the picture at the top of the page, paired with some plant-based chicken and a bagel. As you also might notice in the picture, I thought I might need some extra sauce, but I never ended up touching it- the eggs themselves are so moist and creamy that they complimented the other foods very well. You can pair these eggs with anything really- some plant-based bacon perhaps? Pancakes? Whatever you eat with them, you can feel proud knowing the eggs you consumed are cruelty free and absolutely delicious.