Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Vegg

Just before Christmas, we received a wonderful surprise in the mail: a free sample of the Vegg, courtesy of Rocky. The Vegg is a powdered egg yolk replacer. It has a very small ingredients list, which possibly puts it at risk of people reverse-engineering the recipe, but which is a good reminder that vegan replacements of omin favourites don't need to be scary franken-foods.

To use the Vegg, you must first blend up the packet with a litre of water. So note that you will need a blender, or at least a stick blender, to use this product. On opening the packet, I was hit with a strong fart smell, which I suppose is an indication of how authentically egg-like it is! You can blend up smaller amounts, but since it is supposed to keep in the fridge for a few weeks and in the freezer for even longer, I decided to just do it all in one go. We put a small-ish jar in the freezer, used a bit straightaway, and put the rest in the fridge for the next few weeks. We found shaking the jar was enough to re-mix the Vegg before we used it. Just be prepared for that farty smell every time you open the jar.

So what did I do with the Vegg? 

Instead of starting small, to get a taste of it and see how it is, I decided to go the whole hog and attempt to make a poached Vegg. I watched this veggietorial, and despite the very clear statement that an agar-style white would be the best, I went with cornflour. I blended some silken tofu with a little water, some cider vinegar, and salt and pepper, and then cooked it up with some cornflour to thicken it. I put this into 4 silicon cupcake moulds to set up.

The next morning I scooped out a bit of the middle, filled the gap with the Vegg, and then put the scooped-out white stuff back on top. 

I verrrry carefully transferred these to a pan of boiling water, in their silicon moulds, which I guess makes them more "coddled Vegg" than poached. Anywhoo, getting them out of the hot water ended badly only once, but of course (since I didn't use agar) they didn't really set up into anything, so when I flipped it out onto the toast it went a bit mushy.

It was sort of like eating really thick gravy on toast, but that is my fault, not the Vegg's! Andy wasn't too keen on my egg whites - who can blame him? - but he did say that he thought the Vegg part was really very eggy. 

Andy loves poached eggs, but he eats them just about never because I'm so very unhappy when he does, so I am keen to try again with some agar and maybe a better game plan. He doesn't think it is worth the effort, but where's his sense of adventure?! 
Andy sprinkled bac-o's on his poached vegg.

After that failed experiment, we decided the Vegg's strength was more in the dipping arena, so on Christmas morning I poured Vegg into two ramekins and heated them up in a hot water bath, which we had along with our mushrooms, spinach, and toast. Here, the Vegg really shone. Andy poured his over his brekky, while I preferred to daintily dip mine, but we both really enjoyed it.

The next morning Andy heated the Vegg straight up in a saucepan, then threw spinach into it, and finally pouring all of that on top of mushrooms on toast. Again, it was really good here, adding that special something-something to breakfast, and providing something for that last dry corner of toast to mop up at the end of the meal.

Last night I tried putting the Vegg into a chickpea flour quiche, in place of the black salt my normal recipe calls for. I didn't cook the quiche batter long enough, meaning it was sloppy instead of set, meaning I didn't take a photo because it looked a bit like throw-up. It was tasty, but I wouldn't use Vegg in this sort of recipe again. The Vegg quiche tasted almost identical to the usual black salt variety, which is a bit unsurprising given that the Vegg is made of black salt. Although I would like to try some things like french toast, and maybe custard, with the Vegg, I suspect that the majority of our Vegg-use will be poured over mushrooms, or perhaps mixed through tofu scramble. 

At $9 or $10 a packet, the Vegg seems a bit spendy at first, but now that I've seen how far it goes, I think it's actually good value. Andy, a lover of runny egg yolks, really enjoys it. It is the sort of product that would go really well with a microwave, but even without one we have found it an easy and yummy addition to our breakfasts. What I would like to see from the Vegg in the future is the option to buy larger quantities, in a jar or a tub, for example. Either way, I'm looking forward to trying more things with it! Thanks, Rocky!


Joey said...

Interesting stuff. I've seen the Vegg for sale, but always thought it looked a bit dear. I wonder if it would work for things like hollandaise sauce? I've been fiddling with a vegan oeufs en cocotte - I'm kind of tempted to try making it with some Vegg instead...

Bianca said...

I love the Vegg! It makes PERFECT French toast. Just dip and fry in oil. Soooooo good. I made some over the weekend when my mama was in town. I also like mixing some in scramble. I'll have to try the agar poached eggs, but agar never seems to work for me.

Carissa said...

Looks good to me! I've been wondering about it too :) thanks for the review!

Theresa said...

Joey, here's a hollandaise recipe:

Kari said...

For some reason this grosses me out a little! Maybe I need to try it to realise it isn't actual egg and then be ok :P

Mel said...

I haven't seen the Vegg at my local health food store yet but I'm interested to give it a try when I do come across it. I love that you attempted poached eggs with it! Even though it didn't totally work it certainly looks impressive. I hope you get around to giving it another go! said...

I just tried the Vegg too! I only bought it to try to recreate my old veggie favourite the fried egg sandwich & it was perfect. I just oven baked some tofu that I'd marinated in equal parts ACV & olive oil with a little S+P and when I flipped it after 10 minutes I cut holes in the tofu & filled it with the Vegg yolk before baking for a further 10 minutes. It was soooo good & it totally satisfied my craving!

BethanyCat said...

I love the vegg & use it all the time. There's a pretty good egg white recipe in this vegan moco loco video. I made it & liked the moco loco combo.