Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy many of the same breaded foods you did before.
Although it won’t be the exact same.
None of these are perfect substitutes for eggs in breading, but most do a pretty good job. Some people actually prefer them.
I did my research, and there were 3 breading substitutes for vegans that kept being recommended. So, I tested these 3 alternatives and will share the results with you below.
Testing Plant-Based Egg Substitutes for Breading
The three types of substitutes I tried were:
- Vegetable oil (olive oil)
- Flax eggs
- Starch eggs
I’ll walk you through how to use each of them later below, but for now, let’s just look at the results.
I pressed my block of extra firm tofu, and cut it into 12 sticks to test (4 stick for each type). Then, I covered the sticks in each type of egg substitute, and rolled them in a basic breading mixture.
Here’s what the sticks looked like before being cooked (click to enlarge):
It’s pretty clear that I’m not a recipe blogger, these are very realistic pictures for the average cook.
You can see a few things from the picture above:
- The flax egg almost worked too well – It resulted in a thick layer of breading, and a few clumps.
- The starch and oil tofu sticks were patchy – They were fully covered, but certain spots were more covered than others.
So how did they turn out?
They all “worked”, but to varying degrees.
The olive oil ones looked the best, but the coating was very soft, which I think tastes the worse.
The tofu sticks made with the flax eggs were a bit crispy, but it was clear that there was too much breading stuck to the outside. After brushing off some of it, they tasted pretty good.
The winner for me were the tofu sticks coated with a starch egg. They mostly cooked evenly, and had a solid crispy breading layer. They tasted the best to me.
Here’s a quick summary table of the results:
|Type of egg substitute||Coverage||Texture of breading||My Ranking|
Now I’ll walk you through each option.
Option #1 – Starch Eggs
That’s the “starch egg” in the metal bowl above.
You make it by mixing starch (cornstarch, arrowroot starch, etc.) with warm water in a 1:3 ratio. It’s fairly liquidy, but you could add more starch if you needed to thicken it up a bit.
You don’t want it too thick or you’ll get extra clumping.
Here’s a closer view at how they turned out before being cooked – a bit patchy, but good coverage.
Option #2 – Flax Eggs
Flax eggs are versatile when cooking and baking vegan things.
The flax absorbs the water and makes an almost jelly-like mixture.
To make a “flax egg”, mix 1 tbsp of ground flax with 2 tbsp of water and mix well. Then, let it sit for 5 minutes. An optional extra that I didn’t try was adding a bit of non-dairy milk to create an eggwash.
A close alternative to this is to buy a premade vegan egg replacer. Most grocery stores have at least 1 “vegan egg” product, usually near the tofu. Bob’s Red Mill sells an egg replacer, so look around those in the baking aisle as well.
Finally, here’s a closer look at how my flax egg sticks looked before being cooked. You can see that the breading was very thick because it stuck on quite well.
Option #3 – Vegetable Oil
For most non-professional breading, just using a bit of oil is enough to get bread crumbs to stick fairly well.
It’s also the simplest option.
As you can see, they were quite patchy, but overall had decent coverage.
I’d recommend trying all the options at some point so you can figure out which one works best for the foods you’re making.
It’s possible that one might work best for one recipe, but not another.
If you come up with a creative substitute not on this list, feel free to share it with others in the comments below.