Let's make a FOOLPROOF vegan egg yolk using vegetables via reverse spherification. Not only do the yolks taste good, but this also makes a fun little science project to engage your kids/class/yourself!
VEGAN EGG YOLK LIQUID (1.5 cups yolk liquid—makes 24 yolks, 1 tbsp each)
- 1 medium (~180g) yellow tomato (See Note 1)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup plant milk (unflavored)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp (7g) calcium lactate-gluconate (See Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp table salt (or 1 tsp Kosher salt)
- dash of black salt / kala namak (~1/16 tsp)
SODIUM ALGINATE BATH
- 4 1/4 cups (1000ml) water
- 1 tsp (7g) sodium alginate
- 4 1/4 cups (1000ml) water
Prepare the Yolk Liquid
- Roast the tomato in olive oil for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 325°F. When cooked, place the tomato along with its cooking liquids into a blender.
- Add the plant milk, water, salt, and black salt. Blend and give it a taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Add the calcium lactate-gluconate into the blender and process for 1-2 minutes. Pour into an airtight container and set aside for a few hours or overnight.
Prepare the Sodium Alginate Bath
- Place the water and sodium alginate into a blender and process for a few minutes. Set aside overnight in the refrigerator so that all the air bubbles surface and are eliminated.
Day 2: Make the Yolks
- Remove the sodium alginate bath as well as the yolk liquid (if refrigerated) from the refrigerator at least an hour before using it to bring the bath back to room temperature.
- Pour the yolk liquid into a standard half-sphere tablespoon, dip into sodium alginate for about a minute, then rinse and save in a water bath. (See Note 3)
Adjust, Serve, or Save for Later
- When the yolk is set and rinsed, test it. Is the popping satisfactory? If it's too thick, you can always add a bit more water to the yolk liquid and mix.
- Keep the egg yolks in an airtight container filled with water or olive oil for up to three days. Serve the yolk on avocado toast, pide, shakshuka, or rice!
1. Orange Vegetables: You may easily substitute the 1 medium yellow tomato with a) 3 medium (~180g) peeled carrots or b) 1 cup of chopped butternut or kabocha squash. Sweet potato could work as well, but may be too sweet for this application. For all these substitutions, you may need to adjust the yolk liquid by adding more water.
2. Calcium Salt: Calcium lactate-gluconate is the gold standard for spherification in order to eliminate any bitter flavors. You may substitute it with calcium lactate. However, if all you have access to is calcium chloride, use the double spherification method shown in the recipe video—replacing the calcium lactate-gluconate in the yolk liquid with sodium alginate, and adding a calcium chloride bath right before the sodium alginate bath. Use the same amounts per original recipe (1 tsp / ~7g each).
3. Alternative Method for Perfect Spheres: If you're after perfect half-spheres, try using a mold and freezing the base liquid! Chocolate truffle-sized molds that are about 1.5in in diameter are excellent for it. After the yolk liquid has rested for a few hours, place into molds. Freeze, then dip into a warm (120°F) sodium alginate bath for about a minute. Rinse in water bath and save in water or vegetable oil. Watch this video by Chef Steps to see the frozen reverse spherification technique in action.
4. Watch the video to see the process in action! It shows the double spherification method, but the steps are quite similar. Starts at 4:57.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Category: Staples, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
- Method: Spherification
- Cuisine: Universal