Making fried dishes are loads of fun, as there are so many ways to go about it. But one common ingredient you’ll find in them is the egg. Eggs are so heavily used in fried recipes all around us; it’s almost impossible to imagine trying out anything else. But sometimes, you may be forced to take such an alternative.
Role and Benefits Eggs in Frying
Eggs are a popular element in fried recipes for lots of reasons. Primarily, eggs act as a binding ingredient– it holds the breading in place, so when the food is fried, the flavor can easily be combined. Eggs also help retain moisture in the food by trapping it, so most of it doesn’t escape during the frying process. As an added advantage, eggs make the fried food come out crispy and crunchy, and this combined with the moist insides to give you such a heavenly taste combo. No wonder most foods fried with an egg wash or egg dip turn out sumptuous!
A great taste isn’t the only perk you benefit from using eggs in frying. Classified as a superfood, it’s packed with proteins, folate, and vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, and healthy fat. Besides, eggs also add minerals like selenium, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus to any dish. Eggs are also a great source of the good kind of cholesterol, and they supply the body with a decent amount of choline, an important nutrient that helps develop cell membranes and produces signaling molecules in the brain!
Eggs are also rich in antioxidants like Zeaxanthin and Latin, which are key components to keeping the eyes healthy. And regardless of their high protein level, eggs are very filling and encourage fewer calories. This is a major reason why they’re a regular inclusion in weight-loss diets since they’re packed with nutrients yet contain the right amount of calories the body needs.
Egg Nutrition Facts
Eggs in Frying Recipes
Being such an advantageous food, eggs are commonly used in frying recipes all over the world. They’re also very flexible, allowing them to be included in different types of dishes. Eggs can go with just about anything, ranging from vegetables to fruits, yams, cereals, lentils, pulses, seafood, fish, meats, and even baked goods!
Frying foods with eggs is an extremely ancient method used by various regions and tribes for centuries. And today, chefs from all over the world recognize how efficient it is at achieving the combo of a crispy, crunchy outer covering with a moist, tender inside in all fried foods. As such, you’ll find eggs are a regular addition in fried recipes like;
- Fried chicken
- Scotch eggs
- Crispy Mushrooms
- Crisp Onion Rings
- Breaded Shrimp Meal
- Crunchy Cauliflower
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Vegetable Tempura
- Deep-fried Strawberries
Substitutes for Eggs in Frying
Lots of reasons may cause you to consider something else for frying your foods, instead of eggs. Perhaps you’re on a vegan diet and would prefer to not consume any animal products. Or maybe you’re worried about your cholesterol or protein intake. It could also be that you’re allergic to eggs but still wish to enjoy deep-fried foods. Or maybe you need to make a breaded or batter-fried dish, only to discover you’re all out of eggs!
Whatever reason you may have, you should know that there are other convenient alternatives to eggs for frying foods. And while some may work on a wider scale, others are more satisfying to specific situations. Below are what we consider the closest substitutes you can choose from;
Believe it or not, you can opt for milk instead of eggs for frying foods. Milk is thick and consistent enough to hold breading or flour on the food and contains the right amount of fat and an added advantage of moisture. Milk is a perfect dipping or coating option for frying chicken in place of eggs. And you can use any type you wish, from cow’s milk to plant-based types like almond, soy, rice, or even buttermilk. Just make sure to avoid the flavored kinds, as they’ll affect the food’s final taste.
By far, one of the easiest options you can consider in place of eggs for frying is a batter without eggs. This substitute is great because chances are you’ll have most of the ingredients in your kitchen 99% of the time. All you need is a mixture of flour, pepper, salt, and either yeast or baking powder. Then, dip the food in the mixture and fry straight away!
You can also replace the baking powder or yeast with a carbonated drink like soda, beer, or sparkling water. This type creates a fluffy batter that rises around the food, resulting in an even crunchier result. And using egg-less batter is so flexible; it works for meats, fish, chicken, and vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, pickles, mushrooms, and potatoes.
Not many people know this, but heavy cream is also a great substitute for egg in frying. Heavy cream works perfectly for fried foods that require breading, and it gives a surface sticky enough to coat with crumbs. Instead of eggs, either dip or coat the food with heavy cream, then rub or roll in crumbs and fry straight away. This, of course, is a high-fat alternative, so if this isn’t a problem with you, it can work for your chicken, fish, and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and eggplants.
If you’re looking for a vegan option that’s also quite easy to use, then olive oil is your best substitute for eggs in frying. Renowned for being one of the healthiest types of oils you can use for cooking, olive oil easily allows the food to be breaded for frying. Once you’ve prepared the crumbs and had it seasoned to taste, dip or coat the food in olive oil, then roll in the crumbs, and the coating will stick satisfactorily.
Do note, however, that the best way to fry foods coated with olive oil is by air frying. And it doesn’t just work for tofu and vegetables alone, but non-vegans can also use it for fish or even seafood.
Because it’s thick and allows ingredients to stick easily, tomato paste can also be substituted for frying eggs. It also works great for meat, chicken, and fish and is renowned for the highest moisture retention on the list. You should slather the food rather than dip it in, so you don’t have too much of it, especially because the tomato taste may be noticeable at the end. But because it’s a familiar flavor, it may not be an issue, especially after the chicken or fish comes out crispy and delicious eventually.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs] Can you use butter instead of eggs for frying?
Yes, you can. You can roll the food in melted butter before breading or coating it with flour in the absence of eggs. Butter can also work for chicken, fish, meatballs, and vegetables. Be sure to use a butter brand with a taste you love, so the result is palatable to you.
Can you substitute mayo instead of eggs for frying?
Yes, you can. Like eggs, mayo also contains the right amount of fat. But you need to thin it out first, with a bit of milk or cream, before using. Once that’s done, slather a thin coating onto the food, then roll in the seasoned flour or crumbs. Mayo works best for chicken and fish, and you’ll barely notice its taste once the food is done.
What does egg do in frying batter?
The egg proteins combine with the flour to trap moisture in the food and resist oil absorption while frying. And the egg yolk enhanced the flour’s tenderness, so it comes out crispier, plus gives the final result an attractive golden yellow color.
Though the importance of eggs in frying foods is globally established, you can still find interesting substitutes whenever the situation calls for it. These options listed are some of the best, but you should consider trying other ideas as well. In the end, your aim should be to discover more flexible ways to prepare your favorite fried foods anytime you want.
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