Does Vegan Egg Foo Young sound impossible? It's not! Find out why this delicious recipe is one of my favorite go-to dishes for an easy Chinese dinner.
If you want to avoid tofu, you'll be happy to know these tender, veggie-filled pancakes smothered in mushroom gravy don't contain any bean curd.
Now don't get me wrong. The ever-versatile tofu is still a mainstay in my kitchen. But sometimes you want variety.
Or perhaps you have a family member that prefers not to eat tofu. Thus, this entree is for everyone, including those who are not a fan of the beautiful, jiggly bean curd.
🏆 Top tip
Blend the vegan egg foo young batter until it's very smooth, light, and fluffy.
⭐ Why it works
- Vegan egg made from all-natural ingredients.
- Crunchy bean sprouts and water chestnuts.
- Easy Asian-inspired dinner.
- Makes delicious leftovers and freezes well.
- Moong dal - yellow dal from split and skinned moong beans.
- Basmati rice - white basmati or jasmine rice make the pancakes light and tender.
- Ginger, onion powder, and turmeric - a trio for savory spice and color.
- Kala namak - Indian black salt is essential for a natural eggy flavor.
- White pepper - also gives a special Chinese food taste.
- Make vegan egg batter with soaked moong bean dal and basmati rice.
- Fold in crunchy vegetables.
- Fry pancakes.
- Make sauce with shiitake mushrooms and garlic.
🔑 Key seasoning
There's one indispensable ingredient in this recipe. That star seasoning is kala namak black salt. I love how the aromatic quality from naturally occurring sulfur compounds in kala namak fools your senses into thinking you are eating eggs. It's truly amazing!
🧂 Is Himalayan salt the same as black salt?
But maybe you are wondering what kala namak salt is? Kala namak also called black salt, starts out as pink rock salt mined near the Himalayas. You can purchase pink Himalayan salt as it is, but it won't have the magical culinary qualities of black salt.
To create the pungent sulfurous aroma of kala namak, pink rock salt is fired in a kiln with charcoal. The high heat transforms compounds in the salt giving the finished product a dark purple-black color as well as its distinct smell.
Once it's finely ground, the "black" salt turns a pinkish color. So, don't confuse gourmet black salts from places other than India with Himalayan black salt. Fortunately, your nose will give you the final confirmation!
🥚 Vegan egg substitute
The blended batter made from yellow lentils and basmati rice is an incredible egg substitute and an excellent source of plant protein.
Ginger and white pepper complement the eggy flavor of the black salt, making each bite of vegan egg foo young scrumptious.
These delicious pan-fried cakes are stuffed with bean sprouts, sweet carrots, and crunchy water chestnuts.
The moong dal batter holds the crunchy fillings together and turns light and springy as it all cooks in a skillet.
The savory vegan pancakes fry up in minutes. I always make a double batch because they make the best leftovers. I pop them in a toaster oven straight from the freezer, if they make it that far!
🍄 Shiitake mushroom sauce
The finished pancakes are topped with a silky baby shiitake mushroom sauce. It's light and glistening, more like a glaze than a heavy gravy. Arrowroot in place of flour or cornstarch is the thickener that gives the sauce its clear appearance.
Look how the precious shiitake mushrooms shine in the finished sauce. The gravy moistens the vegan egg foo young just the right amount without overwhelming the delicate flavors of the water chestnuts and bean sprouts inside.
I like to serve this for dinner with steamed rice and bok choy flash braised in vegetable broth. Ladle your mushroom gravy over the pancakes and sprinkle everything with sliced green onion for a complete and satisfying meal.
🥙 More vegan International favorites
Vegan Egg Foo Young - No Tofu
Vegan Egg Foo Young Batter
- ⅔ cup yellow split moong dal
- 2 TB basmati or jasmine rice
- 2 TB chopped ginger
- 1 TB lemon juice
- 1 tsp. kala namak black salt
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
- ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 2 TB neutral oil
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups raw bean sprouts
- 1 cup sliced water chestnuts
- 1 cup shredded raw carrot
- 2 TB soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
- ½ tsp. baking soda
Shiitake Mushroom Sauce
- 1 ½ TB arrowroot starch
- ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
- 1/16 tsp. Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 ½ TB soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
- 1 TB neutral oil
- 4 oz. fresh baby shiitaki mushrooms, about 1 ½ cups
Soak dal and rice for 4 hours or overnight
- Place yellow dal and rice in a medium-sized bowl. Cover with 2 cups of water and soak for 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Rinse in a strainer and shake off the excess water.
- Place soaked dal and rice in a blender with ginger, lemon juice, black salt, pepper, turmeric, onion powder, oil, and water. Blend on high speed until the batter is very smooth, light, and fluffy.
- Pour batter into a bowl. Fold in bean sprouts, water chestnuts, and carrots. Dissolve baking soda in soy sauce. Lightly stir the dissolved baking soda mixture into the batter.
- Grease a large cast iron skillet with a small amount of neutral oil and set it at medium-low heat. Pour the batter into the heated skillet ¼ cup at a time and spread to 4 inches wide with a fork. Cook until golden on both sides.
Shiitake mushroom sauce
- Dissolve arrowroot starch in a bowl with water, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt.
- Pour oil in a skillet and heat to medium. Add mushrooms and sautee briefly.
- Add arrowroot mixture to mushrooms. Turn up the heat and bring it to a quick boil. As soon as the gravy thickens, the sauce is ready.
- Serve vegan egg foo young with mushroom sauce and slivered green onions over the top.
- Store leftover pancakes and sauce separately in the refrigerator for 5 days. The pancakes can also be frozen for up to 3 months. The mushroom sauce does not freeze, but the reheated pancakes are delicious topped with chipotle mayo or other sauces you might have on hand.