The “Dark” Secret to Perfect Vegan Egg Salad!

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.

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  1. Wow, Liz, thank you for such a robust message and endorsement! I appreciate your time. Delighted that your daughter and you approve. Your substitutions and additions sound lovely. I adore Indian food and have some asafoetida on hand, but probably never would have thought to use it in a “pinch” in place of onion and garlic powder. Nice.

    I was just a little confused when you said that you added turmeric for color, as turmeric is one of my original ingredients. Maybe you overlooked it in the list of ingredients? Also, I used dill weed, though you said you added dill seed. Wasn’t sure if you’d missed that ingredient as well or just prefer the seed over the weed. Doesn’t matter; just curuious. 🙂

    As for sugar, I think it depends on the type of mayo as to whether a little sugar helps with the balance of flavors. Commercial mayo just has way too many calories for me in general, so I prefer my Blooming Platter Mayo.

    Either way, I agree with your daughter: my version tastes better than real egg salad, if I do say so. The yolks are chalky but, for me, it was the cooked whites which reminded me of plastic or vinyl that were the big turn-off even before I became vegan.

    Again, sincere thanks for your generosity.

  2. Just got my black salt. I can’t wait to try this!
    Just wondering, how long will it keep in the fridge, do you think?
    Thanks in advance!

  3. Black salt is such a game-changer. Have fun with it. I always keep everything in the refrigerator longer than guidelines would suggest. I would say at least a week?

  4. Just made this fabulous salad!! I love it. I didn’t have the black salt, but all of the other flavors blended so nicely. I’m trying to stay low carb so I did a lettuce wrap. The flavor was so good, I hardly missed the bread. Thanks so much.

  5. I am so excited. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. The black salt is not absolutely necessary as you discovered, but once you try it, I think you will crave it. And a small little container lasts a very long time. In fact, this is the only recipe that I use it in. Thanks again.

  6. Little eating this right now as i type this hehehe. I toasted some super seeded bread and used green leaf lettuce. Girrrrl it tastes EXACTLY like the real thing minus that nasty strong egg taste in the mouth it left which always turned me off. This stuff is soo good!! Thanks for the awesome recipe 🙂 this is gonna be a regular in my house ❤️

  7. Your message was so full of personality. You made my day. And, of course, I am so delighted that you love the recipe. I hadn’t really thought of it because it’s been so long, but now that you mention that strong aftertaste, you are so right. And the way egg coats your tongue in the inside of your mouth was not pleasant to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. Incidentally, how many times could I have said “so” in this one message? Haha.

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