I'd toyed with this plant-based version, based on another recipe, of 'no-egg' salad before, but wasn't impressed. A few months passed and I was ready to develop my own recipe. I'll warn you right here at the start: it's tofu-based. That's one reason I'd sorta let thing idea go - my husband doesn't particularly like tofu. He'll eat it, but groan all the way.
My challenge, then, was to come up with something he'd tolerate, so I was really pleased when he absolutely loved it, and when I asked if I should make it again, he enthusiastically said "Yes!". That sealed the deal.
It seems odd to me that people don't like tofu. I've always liked it - even by itself. But, each to their own palate. Many don't like the texture of tofu, but I tell them to experiment with the common types of readily-available tofu: Silken, Firm, Extra-Firm. They all have their own qualities that adapt to different uses. You can sometimes find 'Regular' and 'Super-Firm'.
The Silken is perfect for blending into plant-based, no-oil salad dressings and soups. Firm can go either way. Extra-Firm is perfect for slicing, dicing, crumbling into any number of different dishes. I usually have one of the aseptic boxes of Silken and a package of the Extra-Firm on hand - in the deli tray of the fridge. The beauty of that? I can open either, use a bit for a dressing or this 'no-egg' salad, tightly wrap the remainder and toss it into the freezer. Tofu is just fine frozen. Before you freeze it, however, drain the water from it. You don't have to squeeze it perfectly 'dry'.
If you're not familiar with tofu, it's simply soy milk coagulated into curds and pressed into a block. Hey! That's what cheese is! You don't cheese is weird, right? One thing that you should know, is that nobody really ever serves tofu right out of the package. It gets marinated, grilled, pressed, fried, baked, breaded, or simply tossed into a smoothie or tasty sauce.
You might be surprised to know that Benjamin Franklin supposedly ate tofu when he visited London, and tofu has a history reaching back some 2,000 years to the Han dynasty in China. People all around the world eat tofu - a sustainable protein - on a daily basis.
Tofu is a minimally-processed plant-based food. It's made from soybeans. It has soybeans, water and probably, a coagulant like calcium sulfate or magnesium chloride. That's it. Most of us eat many foods that are far more heavily processed. But, let's get back to 'no-egg' salad.
I shredded about half of a 14-ounce block of Extra-Firm Tofu. Whatever looked like 'enough' for the two of us. You'll often see Extra-Firm tofu labeled as High-Protein.
Then, I diced up a couple of stalks of celery, a bit of red onion, some Cornichons (those little whole pickles, but you can use any pickle you like).
Next, some mayonnaise (and you'll love my Vegan No-oil Mayonnaise!), plain yellow mustard, and 'black' salt. When I say 'plain' yellow mustard, I mean it. None of that fancy Dijon stuff here. You want the rich yellow color and vibrant flavor.
What the heck is Black Salt, you ask? It's a salt - not actually black in color - used throughout South Asia and noted for its characteristic sulfurous hard-boiled-egg aroma. It makes egg salad taste and 'smell' more like eggs. You can find it online or at some Asian markets - particularly those selling Indian foods. You don't need a lot. A tiny bit goes a long way.
I mix in a bit of black salt with my mayonnaise and mustard until it tastes 'right'.
Next, combine the mayo/mustard/black salt mixture with the celery, pickles and onions.
This is where I add about a teaspoon of my favorite Lake Shore Drive Seasoning blend from The Spice House. If you don't have this, I suggest you add some ground onion powder, garlic powder, chives, and ground pepper. If you're adding the pepper on your own, I prefer freshly ground green peppercorns.
Mix it all up and you're good to go with a sandwich or serve it as we do - on fresh spinach and lettuce leaves. Bread on the side.
It will 'keep' fine for a couple of days in the fridge.
Oh, it makes a wonderful, old-school sandwich!
Hey, if you like or make this dish, would you mind posting the recipe to Yummly? I'd really appreciate that. The Yummly icon is on the right side of this webpage. Oh, and saving to Pinterest would also be great! Each photo should have a Pinterest icon in the upper left corner! Thanks!
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