Back in the day, I was a big fan of egg sandwiches. Thanks to their mild, but comforting flavor and their lean protein content, they were always just the perfect thing to settle my stomach when I had to wake up insanely early for a road trip, or when I was nursing a bad hangover.
While (being only just about vegan) I do eat eggs from time to time, when I go out for breakfast, I usually order a tofu scramble or a build-my-own avocado sandwich of some sort. These options are always tasty and satisfying, but I have to confess that sometimes I find myself with a bad case of food-envy when I see my friends gobbling up traditional egg preparations.
I’ve tried tofu-based egg dishes at home a few times with mixed results, but I think I’ve finally hit the nail on the head thanks to one of my new favorite vegan proteins, bean curd stick, aka tofu skin. Available online or at most Asian grocery stores, this product is made from the film that forms when soymilk is boiled to make tofu. It’s typically sold in dried sheets twisted into sticks that can be rehydrated to different consistencies, depending on what you’re making. Soaked only briefly, the tofu skin remains very chewy and makes a good meat substitute when stir-fried. Simmered in a liquid, though, the sticks separate into silky, soft, and undeniably eggy wisps. (Seriously, if you didn’t know bean curd stick exists and were given it in a dish, you’d undoubtedly assume it was soft-cooked egg.) Better yet, each little stick has 19 grams of protein, which is more than 3 times that of one egg.
Served between toast with gooey vegan cheese, a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper, this faux scramble will make you forget you even liked real eggs.
Easy (I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not) Egg Sandwich
- 2 pieces of bread or an English muffin
- 1 stick dried bean curd (aka yuba, aka tofu skin)**
- 1 teaspoon vegan butter (oil will work in a pinch, though the butter lends a more breakfasty flavor)
- 1 teaspoon vegan mayonnaise (optional-this adds richness and an eggy flavor, especially Just Mayo brand )
- 1 slice Daiya or other similar vegan cheese
- salt and black pepper to taste
1. Place beancurd in a medium sized pot and cover with water. Place over medium heat and bring to a low simmer. Simmer until bean curd is very soft and silky, at least 15 minutes. When ready, it will look like thin sheets of cooked egg. Meanwhile, toast bread.
2. Drain softened tofu skin well and return to pot. Stir in a teaspoon of vegan butter and season with salt and pepper.
3. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the bread, if using. Top with bean curd mixture, an additional shake of pepper, and then place the slice of cheese on top.
4. On a baking sheet or in a shallow cast iron pan, place the open-faced sandwich under the broiler until cheese is melted, about 1 minute.
5. Remove from oven, top with remaining piece of toast, and eat up.