Made with coconut milk, cornflour, miso egg white and a Siracha mayo yolk, the vegan egg is part of Wagamama’s new ‘the avant-gard’n’. The dish also features glazed BBQ Seiten, king oyster mushrooms, edamame and sticky rice. It is Japanese inspired.
“This is not so much a substitute for an egg but looks the part and has a similar consistency,” says Gas Oakley, the noted vegan chef and You Tuber who has devised the dish for Wagamama. He is well known for ‘veganizing’ classic dishes. “Most importantly, it has an incredible flavour that compliments the dish perfectly” said Oakley.
Wagamama is certainly trying to make vegan food more innovative and interesting for the masses. It is an innovator in the plant based food sector and has had an entirely standalone plant-based menu for two years now.
The “egg” certainly looks like half a boiled egg – very white with a sharp yellow yolk. The vegan egg white is designed to have the same consistency as an egg – similar to a firm panacottas. It is created by combining the ingredients in a bowl before being thickened over a stove and then poured into an egg mould which is set in the fridge for a couple hours after which a yolk hole is created. A chef will squeeze sriracha mayonnaise into it to produce the lookalike egg with a soft yolk with its own unique taste.
The restaurant chain is confident that their chefs, will be able to reproduce the eggs each time perfectly.
The egg does not necessarily taste like egg: Wagamama freely admits this. It was designed so that the tropical flavours (coconut, lemongrass and sriracha mayo) perfectly complimented the rest of the dish.
The vegan egg contains 43kcal, approximately the same number in a real egg.
Championing plant-based food
Wagamama’s executive chef Steve Mangleshot is committed to championing plant-based eating. “Meat-free should not mean taste-free. Rather than simply modifying existing dishes to make them vegan, we want to continually innovate in this area. We have a responsibility to keep introducing vegan items to the menu with sustainable eating become increasingly important” said Mangleshot.
“We loved the fact that the egg added a new dimension of flavour to the overall dish and was not a ‘gimmick’. With the expertise of Gaz I think we’ve created a truly unique and delicious offering.”
First vegan egg?
Whether this is actually the world’s first vegan egg is not quite clear. Perhaps it does not matter. Wagamama has genuine commitment to plant-based foods and has the chutzpah to create a coconut panna cotta and call it an “egg” after covering it in spicy plant-based mayonnaise. Nice one.
A Silicon Valley start-up Just Inc has developed Just Egg. It’s a mixture of various ingredients such as mung beans and is designed for the equivalent of scrambled eggs, and it to be launched in the UK later this year.
A Brazilian company Grupo Mantiqueira has created N.Ovo which is packaged in a traditional carton carrying half a dozen “eggs”. It’s actually packets of powder made from pea starch and plant protein.
Recently I tried out a vegetarian recipe for a burger which used egg white for the purpose of binding the vegetables together but instead of the egg used the gelatinous, watery run-off from beans as an egg substitute to make it a vegan burger. It was okay but the burger did crumble a bit.
Plant-based food for the masses is no longer fast food bleeding burger patties of plant-made salmon. A new concept has just arrived and Wagamama is blazing a trail and getting people talking innovatively about food.