My vegan egg salad is–if you’ll allow me to brag for just a minute–divine. Last year, it was even included in a Vegan Top 50 List.
But, at some point, perhaps in her vegan brunch cookbook, Isa (who needs no last name, like “Madonna” or “Sting”), mentioned that the addition of Indian black salt has a sulpher-y flavor uncannily similar to eggs. One sniff, and you know she’s right!
I’ve been intending to try it for a long time, but just never remembered when I’ve been in one of our Indian markets (we have two now!). However, a couple of weeks ago, we were in the Napa Valley and happened through Yountville, home of the famous (non-vegan) French Laundry and the food/home boutique Napa Style.
So we passed on the former, but popped into the latter where we were greeted with a stunning salt display! It happened to be a huge mosaic hunk of gorgeous pink Himalayan salt–my newest obsession–but I inquired about black salt and was offered a tester. One taste and I was sold, so a a perfect little canister went home with me tucked in my luggage. (BTW, “black” salt is actually a pearly gray-pink.)
I paid too much for my stash, but, again, after one whiff, I knew it was the missing ingredient in my egg salad. To confirm this belief, I had whipped up a batch a day or so ago and two friends dropped by yesterday, separately. I offered them a spot of it and, though neither are vegans, they pronounced it the best egg salad (not vegan egg salad, but egg salad, period) that they’ve ever eaten.
So, I’m sharing the recipe again here with this substitution. However, if you don’t have and can’t get black salt, just make it with sea salt and you’ll still love it on a cracker as depicted, on a sandwich, or my favorite low-cal/high-health way: on a cucumber slice.
Yield: approximately 2 cups
14 ounces firm tofu, drained (not Silken–a test proved it to be unsatisfactory)
1 1/2 teaspoons black salt, or to taste (you may substitute sea salt for a different, but still delicious, result)
2 stalks of celery, trimmed, sliced vertically into 4 strips and sliced thinly crosswise
3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (if you don’t have any on hand, use white vinegar or even sweet or dill pickle juice)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon yellow mustard (I like a generous 1/2)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon dried dill weed or 1 tablespoon fresh minced dill
1 teaspoon natural sugar or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mash tofu with salt in a medium-size bowl using a potato masher or a fork. Don’t worry about over-mashing, as the texture seems to improve with additional mashing. Fold in celery with a fork. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients except black pepper and fold it into the tofu mixture until the dressing is completely incorporated. Adjust seasoning with additional black salt, sugar, and pepper if needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.