Monday, May 13, 2013

Vegan "Mayonnaise"

You don’t have to follow a vegan lifestyle to be curious about tofu-based vegan mayonnaise-style stuff. At least I don’t and I am.  That is I’m not a vegan, but I still wanted to try vegan mayo.

For one thing, I like to make as many foods from scratch as I can. I don’t always have the time anymore for homemade cheese or homemade toaster pastries, but the “vegannaise” recipes I’ve seen just require some blending (and then cleaning the blender, of course.) For another thing, I liked making a whole egg version of mayonnaise using an immersion blender, but I’m not always confident about the safety of raw eggs, no matter their source. Most of the time, the eggs I choose to buy have a good record of salmonella-less-ness, but I’d feel uncomfortable serving my raw-egg mayo to someone else. Finally, and most importantly, I was really, really curious about how much this soy-based stuff could taste like real, old fashioned mayo.

As it turns out, this recipe makes a sauce/spread that tastes surprisingly like the homemade egg-based mayonnaise I made before. Wow! Like, really a lot like it. I’m quite happy with this. My vegannaise was a bit runnier than store-bought mayo, but so is my egg-based mayo. I’m okay with that because its texture still allows it to serve just fine as both a base for salad dressings and a sandwich spread.

I’ll probably be happily making this pretty regularly. I’ve already used it to make a chickpea salad (kind of like chicken salad or tuna salad, but made with chickpeas) that I’ll have to tell you about soon, and an aioli for dipping roasted sausages and vegetables. (For the aioli I made a garlic-salt paste that I mixed into some of this mayo along with minced fresh chives and a few grinds of black pepper.) I’ll probably use the rest to make coleslaw out of a chunk of leftover cabbage.

No, I’m not going to go completely vegan on an every-day basis. Perhaps I’m better described as a bit ve-curious, and I’m okay with that. Especially when I can so easily and tastily replace something that makes me kind of nervous to eat. As for things like tofurkey and soy-rizo: sorry, I’m just not that into you.


Vegan Tofu “Mayonnaise”
Adapted from Howto Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

6 ounces firm (or extra-firm) silken tofu
¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process at medium speed about 1 minute. Stop the machine and test for smoothness. If the mayo is smooth, you can taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If it needs more processing, scrape the sides of the container and continue to process until very smooth and creamy, then adjust the seasonings.

Makes a scant cup. Use as you would egg-based mayonnaise.

Another recipe like this one: Garlic-Parsley Aioli 

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