Ever wonder what your best egg substitute is for frying? You might think it’s a simple decision. After all, eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients in a cook’s repertoire.
But what if you have allergies? What if you don’t like eggs? What about a vegan lifestyle? Well, worry not; we have you covered! This article discusses 11 options to give your fried food a crispy and chewy texture with each bite!
1. Dairy Products
You can use dairy products in frying recipes because they have a higher temperature tolerance than most other foods. It makes dairy products the most versatile egg replacement. Because dairy products are denser than eggs, fried foods with dairy as an egg replacer have a thicker and chewier center than those cooked with just eggs alone.
Dairy products produce a more robust taste, so you don’t have to overdo it with seasonings (salt and pepper) when using dairy as an egg replacer for fried foods.
Dairy products used as an egg substitute in frying include:
- Cottage cheese
- Sour cream
Milk and yogurt are the most commonly used dairy products when working with fried foods. Among these options, yogurt is the more popular choice because of its stronger taste. For this reason, it is easier to use yogurt as an egg replacement for fried foods than milk. But if you have a soy allergy, milk can be an excellent alternative.
Cottage cheese is one of the least common options for egg replacement in frying. It contains less protein than most other dairy products and can cause sogginess if not cooked properly.
Beans are an excellent choice for egg replacement when cooking fried foods. When adding beans to your batter mix, it is best to use dried beans over the canned variety. They soften at lower temperatures resulting in a smooth texture. When using canned beans, they might be too soft.
When figuring out how many beans to use as an egg replacement in your recipe, divide the bean weight by six; this equals one egg weight. It gives you a fair idea of how much of your batter mixture can go with each bean serving.
Although most people are familiar with the typical bean-based dishes like French fries and burgers, it is possible to incorporate beans as an egg substitute in other fried food recipes. Some of the best options for incorporating beans as an egg replacer include:
- Flattened fried onions: you can serve onions with toppings such as ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise
- Fried cabbage: cabbage adds a strong flavor similar to that of cabbage.
- Fried cauliflower: this vegetable is milder in flavor than cabbage but still offers a delicate flavor when cooked
3. Heavy Cream
When using heavy cream as an egg replacement in your fried foods, you must be especially careful when heating the mixture because the cream has a high sugar content and can burn quickly. The best way to work with this ingredient is to use it with flour in a batter mixture.
The flour helps shield the cream from direct contact with heat and allows it to absorb into the batter without burning or curdling. You can also use whipped heavy cream as an egg replacement for fried foods.
The advantage of using whipped cream as opposed to regular heavy cream is that the former can not absorb your batter as much since it has less fat content and air bubbles, limiting absorption. You can use powdered heavy cream as another convenient way to use an egg replacer. Powdered heavy cream has a very dense texture, which makes it perfect for frying.
Some of the best dishes to use heavy cream as an egg replacer include:
- Fried chicken: you can grate a few carrots and stalks of celery into the batter mix to add more texture and flavor
- Fried cauliflower (rice) filling: this pastry filling is simple to make and delicious. It is commonly eaten in Italy.
- French fries: you can use heavy cream as an alternative to milk or water when making French fries in an oven. It will give your fries a fresh taste and preserve the crunchiness of your freshly cut potatoes.
4. Cornstarch and Arrowroot Powder
You can use cornstarch and arrowroot powder in Taiwanese and Japanese cuisine because they create crispy textures with fried foods. Both cornstarch and arrowroot powder have thickening properties, which you can use to your advantage when making sauces or batters.
When using cornstarch or arrowroot powder as an egg replacer, mix these compounds well with the rest of the dry ingredients in your batter or sauce mixture before frying the food. It allows the thickening agent to absorb the food before you cook it thoroughly.
Some of the best dishes using cornstarch and arrowroot powder as an egg substitute include:
- Sweet and sour pork
- Chicken cutlets
- Tempura (fried vegetables)
Cornstarch’s ratio of 2 tablespoons to 1 egg volume makes for an excellent egg replacer in fried foods. Substitute arrowroot powder for two teaspoons of cornstarch when figuring out how much powder to use as an egg replacer in your batter. Make sure that you mix your batter well before you heat it.
5. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is another excellent egg replacer for fried foods because of its thick texture.
Coconut milk has less protein content than most other dairy products and may have a chewier texture when used as an egg replacer in frying. Also, coconut milk has the same density as water (0.9 grams per mL) and gives your fried food a tender exterior when added to your batter mixture.
You can soak fried foods made using coconut milk as an egg substitute in sauces or other ingredients (like soy sauce). The reason for this is that it lacks flavor on its own.
The best coconut milk-based fried foods include:
- Fried fish
- Fried mushrooms and tofu
6. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a common condiment used in Southeast Asia cuisine, and one of its significant ingredients is fermented fish. You can use it as an egg replacer in fried foods for these same reasons.
Fish sauce has a strong flavor you can achieve by using seasonings like garlic or ginger. If you plan on using much fish sauce as an egg replacer in your fried foods, you can blend it properly with your other ingredients before frying.
Some of the best dishes using fish sauce as an egg replacement include:
- Thai fried chicken
- Fish cake
7. Tomato Paste
Tomato paste acts as an egg replacement in fried foods for the same reasons as tomato sauce since it has a thick texture, giving your food a tender exterior when you add it to your batter mixture. For better consistency, you can also use tomato paste with other ingredients in your batters, such as beans or tofu.
Tomato paste is relatively low fat and leaves parts of your food too oily if you don’t blend it with another ingredient first.
Some of the best dishes using tomato paste as an egg replacer include:
- Tofu and bean oil sandwich
- Fried shrimp on sugar cane
8. Bread Crumbs
Bread crumbs are another excellent ingredient for egg replacement in your fried foods. You can use them as an egg replacement because they are like bread, absorbing the same amount of liquid when fried.
The texture of bread crumbs is also very similar to that of eggs in that they both form a dense, chewy center but may be dry. You can soak bread crumbs in some liquid, such as milk or water, to increase their absorption capability and make them less dry when frying.
The easiest way to use bread crumbs as an egg replacement is by adding them to your batter mixture in place of eggs. Ensure you have enough bread crumbs in the batter to achieve the desired consistency.
Your best choice for bread crumbs is artisan bread since it usually contains fewer additives and preservatives than regular bread. You can also use stale or dried-out bread.
9. Spaghetti Sauce
The common theme in these recipes is that you can serve spaghetti with meat or other ingredients. Spaghetti sauce is an excellent egg substitute for fried foods because we often use it in home-cooked meals, especially Italian dishes. So, you can even use your favorite spaghetti sauce as an egg replacer in fried foods.
Pasta and other noodles are great egg replacements when making fried foods from scratch since they are naturally highly absorbent. When choosing a spaghetti sauce, you can select one that is thick and tomato-based. It makes it easier to absorb the sauce into your batter mixture and can make it more flavorful in the end.
Besides being used as an egg alternative in frying, spaghetti sauce also works as a batter coating. It is best to use spaghetti sauce instead of eggs in recipes made with vegetables like mushrooms because these vegetables are more porous than meat and can cause egg curdling.
To give you an idea of how much spaghetti sauce you can use as an egg alternative for frying, divide your pasta weight by about 2 or 3, depending on whether you’re using dried or fresh pasta.
10. Almond Meal
Almonds are a great egg replacer as they are high in protein and fat. You can use them as an egg substitute in many recipes when you want to replace the eggs; you can use them in the batter mixture.
When using almond meals as an egg replacement in fried foods, it is usually best to use milled or blanched almonds instead of ground almonds. It is because ground almonds have a flat, slightly gritty texture that can lead to a crumbly egg coating.
Almond meals also serve as a breading alternative because of their high-fat content. It can help add moisture to your batter and can use as an alternative to flour when making things like French fries or onion rings.
You can use almond meal in the following ways:
- Coating meats and fish with bread crumbs or spices
- Coat vegetables, especially mushrooms, with bread crumbs or spices before frying them. It helps ensure that they don’t stick together during frying.
- Making sauces for fried chicken or potatoes
There are different almond meals: blanched, milled, and unblanched. Blanched is the white powder form and works best to coat meats or other ingredients that can have a light color. Milled is the coarsely powdered form, while unblanched has a woodsy texture. You can use unblanched as a binder or thickener in your batter mixture, but you can add it at the last minute.
11. Olive Oil
You can use olive oil as an egg replacement in fried food. However, when using olive oil, you need to be careful with the temperature of your frying oil because its smoke point is lower than eggs and other alternatives, so it may start smoking if you don’t cook it at the right temperature.
For this reason, olive oil is best used as an alternative to eggs in pan-fried foods. Pan-frying allows you to control how much heat reaches your food and how often to flip it, which can help you avoid burning or overcooking your meat.
You can use olive oil as an egg replacer in fried foods in the following ways:
- Frying vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. The olive oil help to keep your vegetables crispy and flavorful during frying.
- Coat meats like steaks or chicken with olive oil before frying them. It helps prevent the meat from sticking to your pan or other cooking surfaces. You can also use olive oil as a binder when frying fish.
- Cooking some foods with olive oil instead of eggs (for example, fish) because the oil adds moisture and flavor to the food, mimicking that of eggs.
Now that you know which ingredients can substitute for eggs, you can be better equipped to make delicious fried foods from scratch.
We’ve covered some great egg replacements for frying, but you can take the list and add your twist. For example, you can use cookie crumbs for coating and bread crumbs for the batter. You can also be creative with this list to use foods you already have on your hands, such as olive oil or almond meal.