When I first cracked open Annie and Dan Shannon's Betty Goes Vegan, I was immediately drawn to a gorgeous full-color photo labeled "vegan fried egg." It looked to be a slab of fried tofu with a yolky center. I flipped to the recipe and learned that the "yolk" is actually Dan's famous homemade vegan cheese sauce. Look!! I cut into my first Vegan Fried Egg to show off its yolky center:
I'm a sucker for a fried egg. When I was a kid, few things satisfied me more than fried egg sandwiches with mustard. That's what my little friends and I would make when we'd have slumber parties. That's what I often made for a quick dinner or late-night snack in college. Now, when I was frying actual chicken eggs, I did not care for runny yolk. Gross.
But since going vegan, when I've experimented with vegan egg stuff, like the Vegg or Rocky Shepherd's (the inventor of Vegg) pre-Vegg sunny side up vegan fried egg, I've found that I enjoy a little yolky texture. Real yolk is gross. It's chicken embryo food. Disgusting. But vegan versions are made with real people food. Like Dan's Cheezy Sauce, a creamy, nutritional yeast-heavy homemade sauce.
But how does the fried tofu get a yolky center? I wondered the same upon seeing the picture in Betty Goes Vegan. The recipe calls for something called a "flavor injector." So I hit up Lit, Memphis' homegrown restaurant supply store, and found this mysterious needle that's apparently most often used to inject marinades into meats. I took it home, whipped up the cheeze, and sliced some tofu. Then I started injecting!
Looks crazy, huh? Basically, you inject the sauce until the tofu starts to bubble. But you have to stop before the tofu bursts. Out of four slices, I only popped one. For breakfast yesterday, I enjoyed an "egg" with some Ezekial toast slathered with Earth Balance and Marmite and a bowl of melon (for good measure).
A number of the breakfast recipes in Betty Goes Vegan call for the Vegan Fried Egg. There's No-Huevos Rancheros ("eggs," guacamole, corn tortillas, peppers, and onions), the #1 Breakfast Sandwich ("eggs," Daiya, tempeh bacon, and kale on whole wheat), Turkish Vegan Eggs ("eggs," peppers, spices, and sour cream), and the Grand Vegan Breakfast (an English breakfast of "eggs," vegan sausage, baked beans, taters, vegan bacon, tomato, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and toast).
Or you could just stack some "eggs" between whole grain toast and add a squirt of mustard, Bianca-style.