Sunnyside-Ups consist of delicate slices of silken tofu which are lightly seasoned with kala namak (Himalayan black salt), gently pan-seared, and then topped with No-Yolks Sauce. This rich sauce remarkably simulates egg yolk and is wonderful for dipping toast, vegan bacon or sausage.
Chef’s notes: The concept of a vegan fried egg is not new or original, despite what some vegan cookbook authors or recipe bloggers might like you to believe. The concept of using tofu as an alternative to egg whites is not new or original either; in fact, people all over the world are making eggless scrambles with seasoned tofu in their vegan restaurants and home kitchens. The term “sunny side up” is also not new or original and has been in common usage to describe fried eggs for decades, if not hundreds of years.
Other variations of cooked eggs, such as hard-boiled eggs, are also being replicated with plant-based ingredients. Creating molded gels using plant milks and gelling agents such as agar and carrageenan is a common practice in molecular gastronomy and is being used in the top restaurants around the world. This was not invented by vegan cookbook authors or recipe bloggers either, despite their claims of originality and “genius”.
The main goal of vegan cuisine is to provide plant-based options to animal-based foods in order to relieve the suffering and death of farm animals. This also benefits the health of the planet and human health. It’s not about feeding one’s ego.
Replicating animal-based foods with plant-based ingredients is a common pursuit in the vegan culinary world and many use similar ingredients and techniques to achieve that goal. But no one can claim “invention” of the pursuit itself. “Multiple discovery” is a well-known concept in any creative field and this applies to vegan cuisine as well. The only thing that might be unique or original is how a person prepares the food. This is simply my version developed from a great deal of personal experimentation with plant-based ingredients. The recipe for Sunnyside-Ups with No-Yolks Sauce first made an appearance in my Non-Dairy Formulary published in June of 2013. That book is no longer in print; however the recipe has made a reappearance, with some minor adjustments, in my Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook.
My vegan eggs are certainly not the first of their kind in the world; nor are they the only way to prepare them – but it’s my own recipe and a good recipe, so I felt it was worth presenting here.
• 1 carton (12.3 oz.) Mori-Nu™ extra-firm silken tofu, or similar
• kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
• cooking oil spray
• No-Yolks Sauce (recipe follows)
Cut open one end of the carton of silken tofu, drain the water and gently slide out the tofu. Handle it carefully as it is very delicate and will break easily. Transfer the tofu to a work surface, turn the block on its side and slice lengthwise to create 4 even slabs. Place the slabs on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel to drain for a minimum of 20 minutes. If desired, cut each slab into a round using a 3-inch ring mold or biscuit cutter. Discard the tofu remnants or save for another recipe.
Note: If you’re not concerned with appearance and don’t mind rectangle-shaped egg whites, simply slice the tofu as directed into 4 slabs.
Place a small amount of kala namak into a small dish and with a water-moistened fingertip carefully rub some of the salt over the tofu slices. Set aside.
Prepare the no-yolks sauce and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Mist a non-stick skillet with cooking oil spray and place over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the tofu slices and pan-sear until lightly golden on both sides. Transfer to a serving plate and spoon a generous teaspoon of the sauce onto the center of each slice. Pour additional sauce into individual serving cups on each plate for dipping.
No-Yolks Sauce is a rich, golden dipping sauce that remarkably simulates lightly-cooked egg yolk. This recipe yields about 1 cup of sauce. The recipe can be doubled if desired and stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and reheated at your convenience.
• 1 T nutritional yeast flakes
• ½ tsp unmodified potato starch or cornstarch*
• ¼ tsp sodium alginate, guar gum or xanthan gum**
• ¼ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
• ⅛ tsp sweet paprika
• ⅛ tsp ground turmeric
• ½ cup water
• ¼ cup organic plain unsweetened soymilk
• ¼ cup (2 oz) non-dairy butter or margarine**
*The consistency of the sauce can be thickened by adding additional starch or simply heating the sauce until it reduces by evaporation. To add starch once the sauce is prepared, mix a very small amount of starch with a very small amount of water to create a “slurry”. Whisk this into the sauce while it is heating.
** Sodium alginate, guar gum or xanthan gum are food gums. Sodium alginate is derived from brown seaweed; guar gum is derived from the guar bean native to India; and xanthan gum is produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates with the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. Food gum is an essential ingredient for creating the proper consistency and mouthfeel of the sauce. These gums can be purchased inexpensively in small “home-size” packages from ModernistPantry.com. Guar gum and xanthan gum can also be found in health food stores, natural food markets and sometimes larger grocery chains in the natural food section.
***Do not substitute with oil. The lecithin in non-dairy butter or margarine is essential to emulsification of the sauce.
In a small dish, combine the nutritional yeast flakes, starch, food gum, kala namak, paprika and turmeric. Combine the water and soymilk together in a cup.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter or margarine over low heat. Whisk in the seasoning/starch/gum blend and stir until smooth.
Whisk in the soymilk/water mixture. Increase the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently until the sauce comes to a low simmer. Do not boil! The egg “yolk” color will develop as the mixture heats. Reduce the heat to low and occasionally give the sauce a gentle stir until ready to serve.