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At the age of 6 months, the culinary adventure could already be noticed on my son, Gad (who is responsible for many of the photos on this blog). Back then he already had a great passion for new foods and flavors.
I remember when he first tried cooked chickpeas seasoned with black pepper(!)
He shook his head vigorously from side to side and immediately afterwards opened his mouth to “more.”
This was the case with almost every dish until one day I roasted chicken livers. Gad looked at it curiously, leaned forward in anticipation, and…
It was the first time a look of disgust had spread across his face – on a level of real shock!
But that was an exception. His openness to new dishes – exists to this very day.
Once he was convinced that veganism is the right lifestyle, It was quite natural for him to change his diet. It was his openness to flavors that has probably helped him during the transition period.
At some point, I followed in his footsteps, but I have to admit it took me longer to adjust.
For me the transition to veganism was gradual. One of my biggest weaknesses was (and still is) eggs.
Shakshuka and Vegan Eggs
Shakshuka – a dish associated with Israeli cuisine, which took the world by storm. My challenge was to make vegan eggs so I could dip some bread or fresh Challah in them.
An online search has yielded many ideas. Once again I realized that the boundaries of imagination had been breached; Once again it became clear to me that when it comes to vegan food the sky is the limit!
I discovered various techniques to make the egg yolk: from pumpkin, through yellow tomatoes to powders like The Vegg;
I was then thrilled to discover the spherification technique which creates the yolk membrane.
In my opinion, there is really no need to buy ready egg yolk powders. They are terribly expensive and contain too many ingredients. Why buy when everything can easily be made at home?
– To make a long story short – I took the best of recipes – and made my own experiments. Lots of experiments. Battalions of silken-tofu were recruited for the noble cause. I added and omitted ingredients and adjusted quantities until I came up with a satisfying version – Shakshuka with vegan, liquid, and delicious eggs.
The “Egg White” consists of firm silken tofu and agar-agar powder, so that when you place it on the shakshuka – after a few minutes you get the characteristic egg white shine.
Before you panic – it’s really easy to make – for the Egg White – you just mix the ingredients while the yolk requires short cooking. Most important: you can prepare both in advance! They are kept in the refrigerator for at least a week!
When I served it to a non-vegan guest – he confirmed that it was just like regular eggs!
For a deeper color, as in the picture, I gradually added Annatto oil (a natural food coloring used in the cheese industry) but it is really not essential – a pinch of turmeric and paprika will yield a beautiful yolk color.
Enjoy and let me know how it turned out ❤️
- 3 tbsp olive oil or to taste
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 5 cloves minced garlic or to taste
- 100 grams tomato paste better without added sugar
- 3 Chopped ripe tomatoes
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (like mutti) 400 grams
- 2 tbsp paprika or 1 tbsp sweet paparika and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- pinch Chili flakes tabasco, or hot paprika
- ½ tsp sugar or agave optional – helps to balance acidity
- ⅓ cup water add gradually
- Chopped Parsley, Tahini, Ciabatta, Challah or any kind of bread
- Heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the red bell pepper and fry for a few more minutes until the pepper softens slightly. Add the garlic and fry while stirring until there is a wonderful smell.
- Add the tomatoes (chopped tomatoes, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste) and the water and mix. Add the salt and the rest of the spices and mix. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally; add water gradually, if necessary; Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add the eggs (recipe below): First, add one or two tablespoon of the egg white mixture to the tomato sauce and gently flatten it with the back of a spoon. Next place one tablespoon of the yolk sauce in the center of the egg white. Cook over medium-low for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with chopped parsley on top, tahini on the side and bread or challah and enjoy 🙂
- In a small bowl mix nutritional yeast, cornstarch, xanthan gum, paprika, and turmeric and set aside; Mix the milk and water in a cup and set aside.
- In a small saucepan melt the vegan butter over low heat. Add the dry mixture and stir until smooth.
- Add milk and water. Increase to medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to bubble slightly. The yellow color of the yolk will develop while cooking.
- Lower the heat again. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. At this point you can add Annatto oil to deepen the color – it is recommended to add it gradually until you get the desired hue.
- Remove from heat, add the black salt and stir.
- The yolk sauce keeps in the fridge for about a week and can also be frozen. (See note at the bottom of the recipe)
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- You can thicken the yolk sauce by adding 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch diluted with a little water
- Annatto oil is not mandatory, but a few drops of it work wonders – Also there is no danger that the taste of turmeric will take over in case of ‘overdose’. What you see in the picture is a combination of turmeric, paprika, and annatto. But even without it, a beautiful yellow is obtained which resembles the color of a common yolk.
- You can freeze the yolk sauce in hemisphere silicone molds with a diameter of 4 cm.
- The vegan yolk sauce is based on a recipe from this book.
- Please note: For making recipes such as Vegan Fried Egg,
- Fettuccine in Florentine Sauce or Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara – specific recipes are published on the website.