I'm a Yolk Fanatic Who Tried a Vegan Poached Egg: Here's What I Thought

Yo Egg brings a game-changing orb to the formerly scrambled-only vegan breakfast space


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Eggs are the first food I learned to cook, and I eat one almost every day—I am an egg fanatic. They are perfect: versatile, nutritious, and if you like yolk, you can have a little burst of sunshine to start your day. So when I heard about Yo Egg, the first plant-based whole poached egg, I had to be one of the first to try it. I will admit, I was skeptical.  

What Is Yo Egg?

First off, what is this thing? Yo Egg is animal-free, and the majority of the egg is made from a proprietary blend of chickpea, soy, and vegetable oil. It has no cholesterol and less sodium than a traditional egg, but also less protein—3 grams compared to 6 grams from the chicken—a number the company hopes to increase in the future. What’s really special is that although plant-based versions of eggs already exist, they only came in a liquid form, and the only prep option is scrambled. BO-ring! Yo Egg’s adding some pizzaz with its poppable, poached full-egg variation, complete with runny yolk.  

Two pieces of avocado toast topped with sprouts and a split Yo Egg, revealing the yolk

Yo Egg

Cooking the Plant-Based Egg

I got a few samples of Yo Egg to try, and in-person the little white orbs did look picture perfect. They survived a cross-city delivery and a night in my fridge completely intact. I read the included instructions and liked how there were options for preparing them; they could be boiled, microwaved, heated in an oven, or they could even be cooked right in a dish, like shakshuka—they only need to be heated through.

I wanted to mimic the poaching process, so I warmed my "egg" in simmering water and placed it on a piece of buttered toast—one of my go-to quick breakfasts. The egg held up in the soft boil with no issues, and though I worried about breakage, there were no problems when I removed it with a slotted spoon. To serve, the company recommends a dusting of the provided black salt, and, what do you know, that’s actually my signature salt on my daily egg, so this entire preparation was a true comparison to my usual breakfast. I sat the egg on top of my buttered toast and sprinkled away.

Presentation and Taste

Now, popping a perfect egg is one of life’s greatest pleasures (well, if you’re me, it is) and I have to say, this was impressive. As I slid my knife through the white, that burst of golden deliciousness oozed out over my toast and plate, just like the real thing. It was an Instagram-worthy egg pop and this jaded old gal was impressed. After a little time, the "yolk" even started to set on my plate just as the chicken version would, adding to the realistic feel.

I tried heating another one up in my microwave to see if there was any difference in the preparation. Everything was the same except the outermost part of the white seemed to thicken slightly, forming a very thin and inoffensive skin, which created an ever-so-slightly different texture. Ultimately, I think either method works – it's just a matter of personal preference.

Now for the only thing that really matters: taste. When I took a bite, the Yo Egg was obviously not an egg, but depending on how it’s served, it might give one pause. For me, the sprinkling of black salt on top and buttery toast below presented familiar friendly flavors, which worked to support the idea of “egg” to my tastebuds. The white felt more like a hard-boiled egg and the yolk was perhaps a tad thinner in mouthfeel and flavor than the real thing, but it wasn't far off.  The addition of the recommended black salt (a flavorful salt from the Himalayas or Hawaii with a mineral-y/sulphuric taste) really does something to transform this chickpea/soy/vegetable oil concoction into an egg-like experience. Top it with a cashew-based Hollandaise sauce for a veggie eggs Benedict, bake it in shakshuka, or add it to ramen, and you might almost be able to fool an egg-eater like me. I see this product going the way of the realistic plant-based burgers; it will be a celebratory revelation for those who can't or don’t eat animal products, and quite a few who do may cross over as well.  

The author's Yo Egg on a piece of buttered toast and topped with black salt; oozing the plant-based yolk
The author's Yo Egg on buttered toast.

Tara Cox

Where to Buy the Vegan Poached Egg

Unfortunately, Yo Egg is not yet available for the home cook, you can only sample it at select restaurants in Los Angeles. However, it won’t be long before this goes to dining establishments far and wide, and also to market for the egg-loving home cook. In addition to this poached style, the company is also working on a sunny-side-up egg and other versions, for even more egg-like possibilities. After a long void in the vegan egg experience, Yo Egg is here to unscramble the space and provide a chicken-free gourmet breakfast experience.  

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