This recipe is based on my favourite ever egg sandwich – the M&S Egg, Tomato & Salad Cream – but I challenged myself to create it as a vegan version when I was writing Veganish. My readers had specifically requested sandwich recipes for this book, seemingly unanimously tired of the solitary falafel offering in the supermarket compared to the dozens of meat and cheese options. So I made a list of both my personal favourites, and asked people for theirs, and tried to recreate as many of them as possible, as closely as possible to the originals.
And this was FUN. A whole lot more testing and retesting than most of my recipes, as well as side-by-side comparisons with the original. Literally a bite out of the M&S one, a bite out of mine. Proffering both at friends and asking them to guess which was which. Tweaks and adjustments and adding specialist ingredients in and taking them out again, until finally, satisfied, I ended up with this. I’m still undecided on the nutritional yeast, so I’ve left it in as an option, but what with all the other baseline rich and savoury flavours going on in there, I don’t think its necessary. However, some people absolutely rave about it, so if you have it in your cupboard, do feel free to add it, but if you don’t, there’s no need to buy it especially. A tub of it lasts ages, but it’s not particularly cheap to buy at the outset, even if the relative amount used here is inexpensive, it’s a bit of an outlay for something that doesn’t really bring much to this particular party.
The filling here isn’t just good for sandwiches; you can warm it through very gently and top a baked potato with it, fold it through cold pasta or potatoes for a deli-style lunch, spread it on crackers, or use it as a dip for crisps or sliced vegetables. It keeps in the fridge for three days, but due to the water content in the tofu, it may separate a little when it’s resting; this is perfectly normal, just give it a brisk stir to re-combine it all and go from there.
Makes 4 generous rounds of sandwiches from 68p per pair.
250g firm tofu, £1.26 (£2/396g, Cauldron at Asda)
½ onion, 4p (70p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda)
Pinch of salt and lots of black pepper
½ tsp turmeric, 1p (59p/45g, Asda)
1 tbsp (10g) nutritional yeast flakes, optional, 28p (£3.49/125g, Holland and Barrett)
2 fresh tomatoes, 25p (75p/6, Asda)
Lots of cress, 24p (24p/pot, Asda)
4 tbsp/60g Vegan Mayo, 42p (£2.99/430g)
1 tsp any kind of mustard, 1p (37p/185g, Asda)
8 slices of bread (to make 4 lots of sandwiches), 20p (55p/800g loaf, Asda)
First drain your tofu and firmly squeeze it over the sink to drain any excess juices. You’ll need to do this a few times to really press the liquid out, as if it stays too wet, firstly you’ll end up with a soggy sandwich, and secondly, it won’t be quite as rich in flavour as I intended it to be.
Slice it around 2cm thick, then crumble each slice into a large mixing bowl. If it doesn’t crumble, it’s still too wet, so try wrapping it in a clean tea towel and rolling it up gently, and pressing it to soak up any more rogue moisture. Repeat this step a couple of times until crumbly, then proceed from there.
Chop your onion very finely, then chop it some more, and add to the mixing bowl. Season with a generous pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Add the turmeric (and nutritional yeast, if you’re using it) and mix well to combine to a crumbly yellowy mess.
Finely slice the tomatoes, and then dice them, and add to the mix, along with the cress. Spoon in the vegan mayo and the mustard and mix well to coat the tofu-egg mixture evenly. Season generously with black pepper – the pepper really makes this, so go to town with it.
Spread on one slice of bread, generously. Pop the other slice on top, then halve or quarter it as you prefer, and serve. The filling will keep a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge – see the intro for more details – but I wouldn’t recommend making the sandwich a day in advance as it could go a bit soggy.
Recipe adapted from Veganish by Jack Monroe, available here. This is an affiliate link so I may earn a commission if you make a purchase from it.