Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Eat // Vegan Loco Moco Recipe (featuring the Vegg)

I made this for Memorial Day Brunch yesterday at home for my family and decided to make a quick blog post about it--not because this is the best vegan egg dish I've ever had but because this is something new and different in the world of imitating eggs.  I'm genuinely impressed by the Vegg and its many uses.  It's 100% plant-based and claims to mimic the texture and taste of eggs to replace it in a multitude of recipes, like scrambled eggs or even a hollandaise sauce.  

The coolest part is the bit of molecular gastronomy used to create the spherical egg yolk.  It takes some practice to get it right but it's much easier than it sounds.  You can watch this video to learn more about this process.  The Vegg is available for purchase on Amazon.  While you're at it, throw this and this in the cart, if you're planning to recreate the recipes in their book--the recipes are more technical and scientific than your average dishes.

I'm always envious when I eat out with my friends--often times the only vegan/vegetarian option for brunch are the pancakes or waffles and I prefer savory, spicy meals to sweet ones.  The first recipe I wanted to try was Veggietorial's Loco Moco, a contemporary Hawaiian dish with a burger and fried egg served on a bed of rice and smothered in gravy.  I used a store-brought veggie burger for this and for the sake of time, used tomato sauce that had already been made instead of her gravy recipe.  Believe it or not, the yolk was the easiest part and the whites gave me the most trouble.  I added more starch because the tofu mixture was not binding, making it impossible to flip.  This is more labor intensive than my other recipes but if you're looking for a realistic fried egg experience, without the cholesterol or animal products, this is worth it.

I know you're probably wondering what this tastes like; I don't think I can convey it properly but I'm told it tastes just like eggs!  To someone who's never had an egg before, it's really hard to describe.  I can definitely taste the nutritional yeast.  My brother's liked it on its own, without the patty or rice, which speaks to the taste I would think.

For the Vegg whites
  • 1/2 block silken (extra firm) tofu (6oz)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice flour
  • 3 teaspoons potato starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • food processor or blender
  • omelet pan
Optional: brown rice, veggie burger, gravy/sauce, siracha, vegetables

Combine all ingredients in food processor.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Mist omelet pan lightly with olive oil. Heat on med high.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of the tofu mixture into the pan and spread in an even layer.  Cook on high heat for 45 seconds, then drop down to medium heat.  When edges start to look translucent and have little air bubbles forming, they are cooked. Approx. 2 minutes.  Flip and cook for 2 minutes.  Do not over cook or they will look too dark.

For the spherified Vegg yolk
  • 1 tbsp prepared Vegg (directions on package)
  • 1 tsp calcium chloride beads dissolved in
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup cold water (waterbath)

Note: You will need two small bowls, a spoon, and a drinking glass with a 2” diameter inside bottom.
Pour a tsp. of calcium chloride solution into glass and swish around, making sure bottom and sides are coated. Pour out into sink. Using a measuring cup, pour about 1/4” (approximately 1 Tbsp.) of prepared Vegg into glass (being very careful to not let it contact sides of glass). Let sit for 1 minute. Fill standard sized non-measuring tsp. with calcium chloride solution. Near the top of the glass touch tip of spoon to inside of glass. Slowly lift spoon handle and let the solution drizzle down the side of the glass so as not to pour directly on yolk. Gently turn glass 45 degrees and repeat. Keep this up until top of yolk is covered with calcium chloride solution. Gently swirl the glass so the yolk spins around for 15 seconds. Wait 2 minutes, then gently p
our yolk into your hand so that the excess calcium chloride solution is poured into sink. Immediately put yolk into cold water bath for 2 minutes. Keep there until used.
TIP: If you prefer more disk shaped (realistic yolks) to spherical ones, just puncture the spherified yolk, bleed off some runny yolk and immediately submerge yolk into calcium chloride to reseal the puncture. A little practice and you’ll be making perfect vegan yolks!

From there I just assembled each plate with a layer of brown rice, a veggie burger, some sauce and a few vegetables.  Finally, the fried egg goes right on top and I finished it with some hot sauce.  Next time I think I would add guacamole or some other creamy addition. 

I hope you learned something new and your vegan egg horizons have broadened.  I have a few other recipes I'd like to try out using the Vegg so I'll keep you updated on how those go!

This recipe was adapted from Veggietutorials and spherification process from The Vegg.

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