When I first heard about the JUST Egg, I’ll admit it. I was skeptical. Eggs are not an Impossible Burger situation, where even meat-eaters can question if what they’re eating is the real deal. They’re completely unique, essential to omnivore cooking and versatile as can be. Though I wasn’t a big fan before I went vegan, every now and then I do miss cracking an egg into my ramen at the end of its simmer or digging into a hearty slice of vegetable quiche. Of course I’ll never eat a real egg again, but if there was really a way to recreate what I occasionally missed, I’d be sold.
The JUST Egg (made out of mung beans, mostly), claims to taste exactly like real-for-true scrambled eggs. JUST rolled out a promotional video last year showing someone cook the product and it seems practically identical to the real thing. Curds fluff up without a problem in a skillet and the color is spot-on, thanks to turmeric. It’s been the talk of the town for vegans on the internet since its release last year— the new “it” product everyone wanted to get their hands on. I knew I needed to try it for myself, so there was no way I could turn down the JUST Egg when it was offered to me for review.
Before my box of egg substitute was mailed to me, I traveled to New York City for a wedding. There, I went on a (very delicious) Tour de Vegan adventure cobbled together mostly from the plant-based influencers on Instagram that I follow, but I also put myself on a mission to try the Just Egg in restaurants for this very review. I had the product twice— at Le Pain Quotidien it was the base of a very autumnal frittata, and at Orchard Grocer, I found it to be folded neatly into a croissant with “bacon” and “cheese.” Both the frittata and the sandwich egg were as fluffy, creamy and rich as what I remembered to be real egg, but the taste was… better. It was light and decadent and I absolutely could not believe it. I was sold immediately and ready to try it out on my own at home.
For my review I settled on making a classic vegetable scramble and French toast. I really wanted to try to recreate a frittata like the one I had at Le Pain Quotidien, but thankfully I decided to keep it simple. I saw that online that someone had success with making French toast, so I followed suit and found a recipe on the JUST Egg website.
As I began the scramble cooking process, I said out loud, “WEIRD!!” The egg was thinner than I had expected and everyone present for my cooking experiment agreed that it looked like eggnog. I mixed the “egg” with a little cashew milk and poured it into an oiled skillet with sautéed spinach, onion, mushrooms, garlic and a bit of vegan cheese. It started cooking much quicker than I expected. After realizing my pan was too hot and turning it down, I tossed the mixture every minute or so to give it a good scramble.
Cooking tip: do not mess with this egg substitute more than you have to. Be patient with it and it will basically cook on its own. My second trial with the egg scramble went better than the first because I learned that stirring it less created bigger, fluffier curds. Hurray for trial-and-error! As far as the taste goes, just as my restaurant meals were, the scramble was absolutely delicious. I liked it better than I remembered liking eggs. Everyone who tried it (both vegan and not) agreed that it was a solid dupe.
The French toast sealed the deal on my feelings for the egg substitute. I’ll admit I had difficulty with the recipe because my bread wasn’t stale enough, but once I altered my method by lightly coating the bread slices with the “egg” mix rather than soaking them, the toast fried up nicely. Paired with vegan butter and syrup, it made for a sweet, indulgent end to my JUST Egg adventure.
Overall, this product is a fascinating and a satisfying substitute for a scrambled egg. The science behind it is truly baffling to me, but I’m thankful the JUST company figured this one out. It is pricey in stores ($7.99!) so I don’t think this would be something I’d buy weekly, but whenever I feel the urge to eat something egg-y this will absolutely be the product I reach for. It’s versatile, tasty and easy to prepare, as long as you allow yourself a few tries to figure it out.
This review is part of “I Promise It’s Vegan,” Paste Magazine’s vegan column by Paste’s resident plant-eater, Annie Black. For more I Promise It’s Vegan, click here. Follow Annie on Twitter if you’d like!