Reader M submitted the following to Questions for cooks:
My son is allergic to egg. I’m wondering if you know if any substitutions for eggs you can use in recipes such as meatloaf and meatballs that use egg as the binder. I’m also looking for substitutions for eggs in the standard breading procedure like you would find for breading chicken and other things. Thanks!
Since we talked about restricted diets earlier in the week, I thought it might be nice to continue this conversation into Friday’s column.
I don’t have any personal experience with an egg allergy, so I talked to a number of my vegan friends who abstain from eating eggs. They said that they use a number of alternatives for binding agents that will likely go over well with your son.
About 1/4 cup of blended tofu, combined with a few drops of soy sauce or barbecue sauce can be a nice replacement for an egg in meatloaf (my vegan friends weren’t hip on the meat part, but all confirmed it works with vegetableloaf). Mashed potatoes and tomato paste (also good for meatloaf) work well for savory dishes, and apple sauce is a great replacement in sweet baked goods. The consensus was that 1/4 cup of these items all work for one egg, but that you may need to tweak things a little for each recipe.
For breading on pork chops or chicken, I use buttermilk. I don’t actually like using eggs for breading, as I find the egg too heavy. I like a light, crispy texture and the buttermilk does this. I highly recommend the Crispy Pan-Fried Pork Chop recipe from Cook’s Illustrated as a primer on amazing breading.
Thank you, M, for submitting your question for our Questions for cooks column. Please check the comments for even more suggestions from our readers on alternatives to eggs.
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