Introduction: Vegan Egg

Picture of Vegan Egg

Vegans won't eat or use animal products -- so the whole idea of a vegan egg is oxymoronic, a contradiction of terms, an impossibility, right?

Wrong!

I will show you in this instructable how to cook up a vegan sunny-side up egg which contains no animal products. It looks like an egg, it feels like an egg, but no bird ever laid eyes on this baby.

This is not the easiest recipe to follow. It requires a fair amount of specialized and hard to find ingredients, but once you've gathered everything you need and you've practiced a few times it's fairly quick, very tasty (it's a desert), and super fun to serve. This is extreme gastronomy, cooking for the concept, deconstructing the age old question of (which comes first) the chicken or the egg to replace it with the more fundamental question: what is an egg?

Step 1: Ingredients and Materials

Picture of Ingredients and Materials

The main ingredients are mangos, coconut milk and sugar, with a little bit of rice flour. Coconut milk is sold in 16oz cans and you can buy it either sweetened or unsweetened, low fat or regular. I used the unsweetened full fat variety it should work with any kind (just don't add extra sugar if you buy the sweetened variety).

You will also need calcium lactate and sodium alginate (to give your egg yolk the right shape and texture) and agar agar for the egg white. Sodium alginate and agar are extracted from seaweed, and calcium lactate, despite its name, is NOT made from milk (it is made by reacting lactic acid with calcium carbonate. Lactic acid, in turn is made with sugar, water and chalk). This desert is 100% vegan fun.

For tools you will need a hand blender and a small slotted spoon.

Although you might be able to find the ingredients locally and individually, it is much easier to buy a kit online. Molecule-R Cuisine R-Evolution Kit is fairly expensive but has very pretty packaging, and it's convenient because you'll get a good sample of ingredients and all the specialized tools too. It is from their DVD that I got the idea for this recipe: they give instructions for a reconstructed egg, but they didn't take the concept to its logical conclusion, they didn't make it vegan. Their egg white is made with regular milk, and doesn't taste as good as this version. You can also buy food grade sodium alginate , Calcium Lactate and Agar Agar Powder separately.

Step 2: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

Chill 6 small individual serving plates in your freezer.

Use your hand blender to dissolve 2 grams of sodium alginate (about 3/4 of a teaspoon) in 2 cups of water, then refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes.

Step 3: Egg Whites

Picture of Egg Whites

Mix together:

3 tablespoons sugar (omit if you are using sweetened coconut milk)
1/2 teaspoon agar (2 grams)
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 pinch salt

Sift the sugar mix into 1/2 cup coconut milk, stirring carefully to avoid clumps. Bring to boil over moderate heat in a small saucepan.

Stir in an additional cup of coconut milk, and remove from heat.

Set out your chilled plates, and pour about 3 tablespoons of "egg white" onto each plate. You should have about 1/4 cup left in your pan after serving all six plates. Put saucepan with remaining coconut mix over low heat and wait a couple minutes for the first layer of "egg white" to set.

When the first layer is hard enough to support an extra layer, spoon the remaining coconut sauce over the gelled "egg white" on each plate. You may have to add extra coconut milk before pouring if the mix has thickened too much.

Allow to set about 5 minutes (in the refrigerator if you've got the space, but it will also work at room temperature).

If you are preparing this dish a few hours or even a day in advance, after the egg white is set you can pour a little coconut milk (diluted with water if necessary) over the egg whites, cover and store in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Egg Yolks

Picture of Egg Yolks

Peel and cube one large, ripe mango or 2 small "champagne" mangos. If you can find the Champagne mangos, these are much better, not just for this recipe but for all purposes: they are sweeter and less fibrous than any other variety. There are whole instructables devoted to the subject of cutting mangos, but these instructions are best suited for my recipe.

Blend together:

mango
1/2 teaspoon calcium lactate
1-2 tablespoons sugar (depending on your taste and how ripe and sweet your mangos are)

Remove the sodium alginate bath from the fridge and pour into a shallow bowl so the the mixture comes close to the rim (this will make your job easier)

Prepare a second bowl filled with clean water nearby, and, if you are preparing this in advance, a third container with about 1 cup of mango juice.

Use a soup spoon to carefully drop a dollop (about 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon) of the mango puree into the sodium alginate bath. You can put in 2 or maybe 3 dollops at a time, as long as you are careful not to let them touch each other. It is very hard to get a perfect sphere but don't worry, once it's on your egg it will look fine.

Use your slotted spoon to (very gently) mix the solution around the yolks so an even gel forms around each one. Leave in the bath at least 3 minutes, then, with your slotted spoon, pick them up one at a time and rinse them in your bowl of water. If you are serving immediately, proceed to step 5, otherwise after rinsing the yolks place them in some mango juice to store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. You can put them in water instead of juice, but depending on how long you are storing them, they will absorb some of the liquid. In water (overnight) the taste will become a bit diluted and the texture more liquid, less gooey.

Step 5: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

If you prepared your parts in advance, carefully pour the liquid off the egg whites and wipe the plates dry. Presentation is everything here!

Using your slotted spoon, carefully lift the yolks out of the mango juice, rinse them in a bowl of fresh water and place them on the center of the second layer of egg white.

Play around with this recipe. Next time I make these I'll use a little food coloring on the yolk to make some green eggs and ham. Maybe I'll color the egg whites too and serve rainbow eggs... but this time around I was going for the 100% realistic look.

Comments

EstefaniRM (author)2016-03-25

Wow! I want to make this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. It´s amazing :D

kevinchin76 (author)2015-03-24

Looks amazing... imagine the look if have bacon and egg made this way ; ) Do you make Bacon too ?

belsey (author)kevinchin762015-03-25

Never tried fake bacon, but it would be fun to try...

Akin Yildiz (author)2014-09-22

wow this is amazing.. thank you for sharing, i can't wait to show my wife :) one of the reasons of me going vegan was that I found out what an egg really is. it's not a fertilized egg, because there are no roosters around to mate with the mother.. yea, it was pretty nasty to figure out that I had been eating chicken period for 25 years, every morning, can't get more disgusting than that probably..!

phsycis (author)2014-06-04

mahhh mahhh tasted gewdd in murrr bellay

phsycis (author)2014-06-04

mahhh mahhh tasted gewdd in murrr bellay

theegghead (author)2014-04-21

THIS IS AWESOME! This looks like a great and healthy desert dish!

MAudette85 (author)2014-01-20

funny enough I was gonna try this then I scrolled down and saw some guys comment about slipping yogurt and mango together and im so down for that. that actually sounds amazingly delish. thank kid.

SLCVeganista (author)2012-11-18

For the "egg" white - did you use agar flakes or agar powder? This looks super delicious BTW - definitely am going to give it a try :)

belsey (author)SLCVeganista2012-11-19

Agar powder

edsobo (author)2012-06-04

Thanks for the awesome 'Ible!

ailnn (author)2012-04-14

I was posting on an older site and now, I see, the same arguments are go still going on two years later. So I'm re-posting here.

Just found this site and was delighted to find this recipe. What I don't understand is why people are criticizing others for looking for recipes which mimic meat. I was told by my doctor to go on a vegan diet to prevent heart disease. I'm learning a lot but so many are critical of these foods. Why are you even looking and COMMENTING on such a site? Remember the old adage of MYOB. You look for your foods and I'll look for mine. I promise I'll never comment on your choices, even if it consists of cockroaches. I expect the same from you.

fernanda birrell (author)2012-03-21

Yeah, why bother, unless your intension is taking the mickey (this in deference of the "be nice" comment policy) out of the chicken or the vegans, why go to all that bother?

Picturerazzi (author)2012-03-20

Stop being so upset already! Move on with your food choice of life and choose another instructable to look at. Please!

lynnhowlyn (author)2012-03-18

Very creative!

Here's a question I've wondered about for a long time: Do vegans breast feed their children?

jill20 (author)lynnhowlyn2012-03-18

Years ago I did know one vegan who decided to feed her baby soy formula instead of breastmilk to keep him away from dairy. That being said, there are extremists in any group and I have no doubt that she was one.

devophill (author)jill202012-03-18

That's a really bad idea btw. Babies die of malnutrition on that method.

porcupinemamma (author)devophill2012-03-19

Actually, my 10 month old child had to have soy milk, as per his pediatrician's instructions. He was not able to digest milk- that's what kept my child alive...and yes, he was breast fed up until 10 months. He's is a healthy 27 years old now

devophill (author)porcupinemamma2012-03-19

Yes, but your baby was breast-fed for 10 months. I'm referring to things like this:


http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-09-12/news/30170552_1_soy-milk-vegan-couple-life-sentences

wilderness (author)lynnhowlyn2012-03-18

Hmm. I wonder. Do carnivores eat theirs?

Really, if you're seriously troubled by this question, you could try investigating what sort of reasons peole have for chosing a vegan diet. If you're still preplexed, you could go out on a limb and actually talk to a vegan...

Beta_Orionis (author)wilderness2012-03-18

I'd say it's a valid question considering the fringe vegans who won't feed their pets meat products or eat things like honey (even naturally collected.) And what if lynn doesn't know any vegans in real life so decided to pose the question in a safe environment? There was also no mention of being troubled or confused by the notion, just that it was something wondered.

As you know, there exist vegans who choose the diet for activism, or other reasons exclusive of health interests. Obviously growing infants need the nutrients breast milk can provide, but it's not hard to imagine someone who does not think that through, regardless of their diet. The only way I find this question "dumb" is that it presumes that people do anything categorically.

wilderness (author)Beta_Orionis2012-03-18

Sorry, the sarcasm wasn't called for.

I didn't mean to imply that anyone is stupid. I found the question disrespectful but that could just be how I read it.

PlanetVegan seems to have provided a much better answer to the question (above)

I do think the carnivore's comment was clever... and I have definitely heard the breastfeeding question and others like it.. although, the question does illustrate a lack of understanding about veganism, I don't think it's usually meant as disrespectful.. But, for the record, there are a great many people who are aggressive in their questioning of vegans and vegetarians, they may not be the majority, but when those people ask about breastfeeding they are not asking out of curiosity, they are just being snide.. My point is, I can see how this sort of thing can cause a vegan to assume that the question was meant to be rude.. even when it wasn't..
oh, and for those vegans that don't eat even wild collected honey.. I do have a question.. how can one justify eating fruit, even organic and local, that requires the use of owned, honey producing bees, but vilify the honey as slavery..? that I have been wondering for a while..

I would pose that same question to honey-free vegans, but I've never had the chance to speak to one directly!

belsey (author)wilderness2012-03-18

If you ever had a fish tank, and the fish survived long enough to reproduce, you would know that yes, carnivores eat their own babies. All the time, and in great quantities.

wilderness (author)belsey2012-03-19

:) thanks for pointing this out.

It just illustrates the point I wanted to make, really - namely that creatures vary. Fish (pescavores?) may eat their babies; so do captive pigs (omnivores) and wild rabbits (mainly herbivorous) but very few humans do, even among those who live on a predominantly meat diet (This is who I was refering to - technically I should have written omnivores).

Treating any group of people as a homogenous and alien entity rather than a loose collection of approachable individuals is problematic.
Apart from being misleading, it helps reinforce barriers and perpetuate ignorance.

But my comment was not really relevant, as Lynn probably thought you were a vegan, in which case my criticism is completely misplaced.

I responded rhetorically because I'm so used to hearing that kind of question from people who think they are being clever.

So - sorry again!

rathmiron (author)wilderness2012-03-18

actually, it's not so stupid of him. breast feeding means milk, and they don't drink milk. and he didn't say he's troubled by it, just that he's been wondering about it.

To anwer you question lynnhowlyn: I think they do. as far as i know they don't drink animal milk because they feel we 'steal' it from the animals, and gthe calves are taken away right after birth (or something like that). since it's their own baby, it wouldn't steal anything, so i could think of no reason why they wouldn't.

Buckbeak (author)lynnhowlyn2012-03-18

Err... how on earth is breastfeeding a child cruel to animals? That's like saying, do environmentalists grow plants, the two are not related.

theque (author)lynnhowlyn2012-03-18

Its not about not drinking any milk AT ALL. It's about not drinking milk from other animals.

ascus (author)lynnhowlyn2012-03-18

Only the females, who have babies.^^

belsey (author)lynnhowlyn2012-03-18

You know, I've asked myself the same question (I'm not vegan by the way). My guess is that they would... They're not the type to prevent calves from nursing, so why deprive their own babies? One of the reasons to be vegan is to reduce livestock production which is so much more costly to the environment than crops. There are probably in the world some vegans who choose not to have children to reduce their environmental impact, but for those who become parents, a mother's breast milk, as I understand it, does not contradict their values.

Planet Vegan (author)lynnhowlyn2012-03-18

It's completely fine for a vegan to breastfeed her children, as the basis of the vegan animal rights ethical position rests on the premise that it is wrong to take from, and/or cause unnecessary harm to, other beings, human or non, without their consent. This ideal holds true whether we are referring to another being's liberty, labour, secretions, or their very lives. In the case of the breastfeeding mother, that is a completely consensual act, and therefore meets the criteria. :)

JuJuBe1115 (author)2012-03-18

If you are vegetarian or vegan, fine. But answer me this; if the food is really so good, why does it keep pretending to be something else? I like tofu, but I hate when tofu is doctored to be supposedly just like beef or some other meat. Faux turkey, Fakon, veggie burgers, etc. There are so many creative things that can be done with veggie/vegan ingredients that don't involve cheap imitation. I mean, I can make a bowl of rice that tastes exactly like buttered toast, but that doesn't make it a good idea. My chicken doesn't pretend to be tofu, and tofu is too good to pretend to be chicken.

That said, this does sound like it would taste good.

TechGnostic (author)JuJuBe11152012-03-18

Clearly, JuJuBe1115, you are a purist. Eggs must not only taste like eggs, they must BE eggs. Tofu must be tofu.

Therefore chicken must be chicken. Maple Syrup 'should' taste like tree-sap. Ice-cream aught to look and taste like all of its ingredients, (including seaweed. ??), and sausages should taste like intestines, gristle and fat.

Why are pseudo meats disturbing to you : ))

Since cake doesn't taste like eggs, why shouldn't tofu be used as an ingredient in something else?

( I'm a vegetarian and find tofu, by itself, pretty revolting, actually. But psuedo sausage is great with egg-free pancakes).

word. tofu needs a lot of help to be "good" in my opinion as well.. I also don't really like it, and am not convinced that it is really that healthy.. It is a giant mono-cultured crop that has naturally occurring chemicals that can affect hormones, tastes like nothing, and has a texture like.. ugh.. yea, it needs love, but can be very good.. but, as a vegetarian i usually just find protein elsewhere, rice and beans, a little cheese, etc..

Part of the answer is convenience.. A burger is convenient to eat, so instead make one out of black beans.. Much of the answer is more complicated.. As a vegetarian chef I think about this stuff alot.. Making the veg food imitate meat food is also primarily a western concept, Asian and Indian food have used tofu, tempeh, paneer, jackfruit, and seitan for a very very long time for their own merits, not solely to imitate meat dishes. I think the most important facet of this though is that meat has been used as a protein source and carrier of flavors in western cuisine. BBQ chicken is seasoned so it doesn't taste like chicken, it tastes like BBQ smoky, spicy, salty, sweet.. In culinary creations the 5 tastes are the important factor.. Bacon is added to a sandwich, not because it is bacon made form pork, but because it brings specific textural and flavor qualities.. The easiest way to create a vegetarian sandwich that also incorporates those flavors and textures is to spend some time with some tempeh. Most vegans and vegetarians don't primarily eat imitation meats, and although many do, the selection of imitations is more for people experimenting with vegetarian diets for health or other reasons. All that said, there are vegetarians, myself included, who enjoy some fake meat sometimes.. not all the time.. it's not necessary, but I do enjoy many of the meat flavors that I grew up with. It tastes good to me, but I have made my choice for my own health, and for the respect I feel something that died so I may eat deserves but lacks in the modern industrial food machine.. I watched Earthlings and that was the last straw.. I couldn't continue to eat animals that MAY have been treated so inhumanely.. Which brings me to a point about imitating food.. The American diet is absolutely full of imitated flavors.. in our sodas, candies, fruit juices, just about anything processed.. even our meats.. is that sausage actually smoky, or artificially? Is that gum a watermelon, or watermelon flavored? It isn't unique to vegetarian food, but rather, modern, industrialized food are inherently artificial and imitative, so it isn't surprising to find this same concept in vegetarian foods trying to imitate meat.. heh, i mean, seriously, all the "pink slime" articles in the newspapers lately should illustrate quite clearly that even "meat" seeks to imitate meat...

belsey (author)JuJuBe11152012-03-18

The whole point of this exercise was to make something which is not what it appears to be. I wasn't trying to make an egg. I wanted to make something which looked and felt exactly like an egg but which wasn't an egg. A vegetarian or vegan shouldn't use this as an egg substitute because it's a desert... it's a culinary joke.

JuJuBe1115 (author)belsey2012-03-18

I can get that. It would be a cute prank for April Fools, serving up "eggs" to those savory-breakfast lovers.

belsey (author)JuJuBe11152012-03-18

It's in this year's April Fool's Challenge

benandsandra (author)belsey2012-03-18

I totally "got" your idea, and applaude your creation. I find, though, that any subject matter that pertains to ethical issues or deep founded beliefs (whether or not humans "should" eat meat) are greatly debated and often ridiculed. You did good, keep it up!

benandsandra (author)belsey2012-03-18

I totally "got" your idea, and applaude your creation. I find, though, that any subject matter that pertains to ethical issues or deep founded beliefs (whether or not humans "should" eat meat) are greatly debated and often ridiculed. You did good, keep it up!

narf7 (author)JuJuBe11152012-03-18

I am vegan and shun the fake meat etc products. I guess they are just to make it easier to transition from a meat, egg, milk diet to one that is very different. It is like moving to another country...at first you don't understand anyone, you don't know where to shop and you end up confused and homesick...we all have to make our choices but we all have that right...we also have the right to be happy with what we do and not have to explain ourselves away constantly to people hell bent on making us revert to eating meat etc. to make themselves feel comfortable about their choices. Get over it guys...we are all in this together and we get to choose.

kevinvw (author)2012-03-18

But, can you come up with a recipe for Kosher Pork? :)

DeliciousMystic (author)kevinvw2012-03-19

kosher pork? no problem... tempeh bacon.. tofu ham.. jackfruit carnitas... :)

newberries (author)2012-03-18

If you want an egg, eat an egg...a local, organic free-range egg!

SabineT (author)newberries2012-03-18

I love the idea of a mancoconegg very much! And I love this thread and quickly want to add my fife cents worth. I'm not vegan or vegetarian, but love vegan and vegetarian food. I often cook for my friends the majority of which seem to be vegan or vegetarian. Most of the time they just appreciate my cooking, but sometimes challenge me about meat/dairy/egg/honey eating. Normally, there's no arguing with vegans because they're often a tad on the self-righteous side, so I stay well clear because no doubt they do save a lot of animals from being exploited. One thing though: Eating vegan is a thing that only fairly well-to-do and fairly well educated people can keep up. I have yet to meet a working class vegan on a low income (students excluded). For the ovo-lacto-honey vegetarians I have the following: Even if you eat organic free-range eggs - the male day-old chicks go into a blender, irrespective of their status as organic. The calves born to keep cows lactating have a similar fate - the male ones go to the works or are reared to become beef, irrespective of their organic, grass-fed status. And commercial beekeepers (as well as some hobbyists) squash countless bees "by accident" and intentionally kill the queen as soon as she is "spent". So what's a vegetarian to do: Go vegan? Or maybe become aware of the terrible impact of modern agri-businesses - not just for animals, but also for the earth as a whole. And then make a choice. Here's my disclaimer: This was not meant to tread on anyone's toes. I'm just adding to a really good discussion.

theque (author)SabineT2012-03-18

I disagree that only well-to-do folk can truly keep up veganism.. My girlfriend and I are both vegan, and we are what could be considered working class (I make only 14k a year). However it does require good education on nutrition.. People say that eating vegan is expensive, though I know first hand it is do-able, as we eat vegan and 90% organic for ~$300 a month...

evacooper (author)theque2012-03-19

lucky you then... where i live whole wheat flour is 2-3 times the price of regular flour, forget organic/vegan food! not that i want to be vegan, but i do want to eat healthy. you have to be well off to eat health food, almost no one does it.

SabineT (author)theque2012-03-19

It's really cool that you're able to do that. Here in New Zealand, organic food is so expensive! If we didn't have a huge organic garden, chooks for eggs, bees for honey, a kind dairy farmer for raw milk, and two dozen fruit trees we would not be able to get away with eating well at all - vegan or no. One thing though: Having little money doesn't make you working class. My brother, who, like me, comes from a very working class background, makes loads of money. But I bet with all his dosh he wouldn't be able to eat as well as I do, because he just doesn't know what to eat if it's not meat and three veg. I on the other hand make less than 14k a year, but because of all the things I've mentioned above I eat like a queen or three :-) Anyway, good on you for commenting. It's much appreciated.

Btw: I agree with narf7, lets all just appreciate what we have. But this shouldn't mean we can't have a good discussion like this. I'm always interested in other people's opinions, and I principally never try to "convert" anyone.

And finally: belsey - I still love the idea to be able to serve an "egg" to my unsuspecting vegan friends. I can almost hear them mumble, "oh, well, hmm, I don't think I can eat this, you know, I'm vegan, you forgot, didn't you?" Ha, gotcha!

narf7 (author)SabineT2012-03-18

Very valid point and just like the monks who walk backwards and use brushes to remove their footprints, we are all going to squash a few bugs (and eat some to be honest if we are vegan in our salads :) lets all just get over what everyone else is eating and be happy with our lot!

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