A substitute for egg!

Whilst meat substitutes are now ten-a-penny, we are less used to looking for egg substitutes. However, vegan foods are also strongly on the rise and are very earth-friendly, and an egg substitute can come in handy when you’re whipping up, for example, a vegan brunch…to sit alongside your vegan sausages, beans, fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and toast.

This week’s recipe is a great veggie take on a special fried rice and the vegan ‘egg’ makes this readily a vegan favourite too.

Vegan special fried rice

Serves 4

  • 1 mug of basmati rice
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • Star anise (although this is more for fun than flavour)
  • teaspoon of Chinese five spice
  • Onion, chopped
  • Courgette, diced
  • Red pepper, diced
  • Chunk of cabbage, shredded
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen sweetcorn
  • 280g naked Tofu
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 25ml Agave syrup
  • Soy sauce
  1. First, put the rice in a pan and rinse 3 times with cold water. Then cover with about 1 cm of cold water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat until all the water has evaporated. Check it’s cooked. If not, add a little more water then check again when the water is gone. When it is cooked, turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, heat a couple of tablespoons of veg oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium/high heat. When hot, add the carrot, then the 5 spice and star anise, then the chilli, ginger and garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes while you keep things moving with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the onion, courgette, cabbage and the peppers and keep stirring for a 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Then add a couple of handfuls of peas and sweetcorn. I try to aim for an even split between veg and rice, so that’s the veg content you’re aiming for! When your peas are a vibrant green colour and everything smells amazing then move on.
  5. By this time your rice should be ready. Tip the rice into the pan and gently move around to break up and mix into the veg.
  6. At this point if you were making the veggie version, you would break in a couple of eggs and keep stirring until no trace of uncooked eg was left. But in this case, just turn off the heat, stir through a little soy sauce and leave for a moment whilst you make the tofu ‘eggs’.
  7. In a third (ideally non stick) frying pan, heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil over a medium/high heat.
  8. Drain the tofu and crumble it into the pan with your fingers. Add the turmeric and stir for 3-4 minutes until the tofu starts to crisp.
  9. Add the agave syrup and 15ml soy sauce and cook for a further minute. Stir half the tofu through the vegetable rice mixture.
  10. Serve the vegetable rice in large bowls with the remaining tofu ‘egg’ sprinkled over the top.

This recipe is a crowd-pleaser, but if you like your rice with more flavour either add chilli sauce at the end, or increase the quantities of chilli, garlic and ginger at the start.

Food waste tip:

You can use up pretty much any leftover veg in this recipe. Just cut large if it’s quick to cook, or small if it takes longer (and add with the carrots).

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