When I first went vegetarian, one of the struggles I had was figuring out what to eat when I was a rush. Sure, when time wasn’t an issue, I could leaf through cookbooks or pop a dish in the oven for a half an hour. But when I was late for an appointment and had to whip something together on the fly, I was at a bit of a loss. After all, my habits had been built on throwing together a sandwich of deli slices, egg salad, tuna salad, or even picking up some fast food on the way to my appointment. (While fast food offerings do exist for vegans, the options are fewer.)
Obviously a person could keep vegan deli slices in the refrigerator door, and make a sandwich in the same style as the one that used to go in your school lunch box. That’s an easy option. But what I didn’t realize when I first went vegetarian is that it’s also a cinch to recreate the tuna salad & egg salad of yore with a few simple substitutions.
Two of the first things that I learned to cook as a child were egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches. No recipes were needed, it was easy to spoon in the ingredients myself, and they didn’t require too much in the way of adult supervision. I shared the vegan version of tuna salad a while back. (In that post, I served it in a tomato. Of course, you can put it on bread instead.)
And today I’m sharing my vegan egg salad sandwiches.
Vegan egg salad sandwiches are what I make when I was supposed to be out the door 10 minutes ago. The ingredient list is small, no stove is required, and it’s easy to adapt the recipe to fit your own preferences.
I start with a 3-ounce slab of super firm tofu. I like the kind that’s vacuum-packed, as opposed to the variety that comes soaked in water. It makes a firmer sandwich. Since I can use it in anything and not have to worry about pressing it, it’s my all-purpose tofu of choice. You can find vacuum-packed tofu made by Wildwood and Trader Joe’s. I just keep a block in the refrigerator and cut off what I need. A kitchen scale is handy for measuring portions, but once you get accustomed to knowing what the general size is, eyeballing works too.
I crumble it into a medium sized bowl with sliced spring onion or minced yellow onion, a dollop of eggless mayo, a smidge of stone-ground mustard, and shelled pumpkin seeds. I’ve been into somewhat spicy pumpkin seeds for a while, because I like that they give the smallest kick of heat. But plain shelled pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds will work too.
Then to make the dish taste eggy, I add 1/8 teaspoon of black salt, which is also called kala namak. You can find it online, but it’s way cheaper if you buy it at your local Indian grocery store. Packages at an Indian grocery store average around one to two dollars. (I also like to use kala namak in my eggy tofu & toast at breakfast time.) While most of the other ingredients are negotiable, don’t skip the kala namak. This sulfurous salt is what really makes this taste like an egg salad sandwich.
Give all of it a good stir and add it to the bread of your choice.
Like egg salad and tuna salad, you can tweak the recipe to fit your particular preferences. If you like fresh dill, diced pickles, chopped celery, grated carrot, more mayo, no seeds, a dash of pepper, whatever, then simply adjust to your tastes.
It’s a terrific sandwich for a packed lunch with an apple and a few potato chips. I also like this vegan egg salad scooped onto crackers, rolled into a tortilla, or wedged into romaine leaves.
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