Soaked in eggs and milk and then fried in butter, French toast is a big no-no for those who follow a plant-based diet. But making a vegan version of this classic breakfast dish is both easy and delicious. The trick is to make a batter by blending together coconut milk and soft tofu.
This combination works so well because coconut milk provides a rich, creamy base to which the tofu adds body and the power to set the custard as it cooks. Because there are no eggs in the batter, you don’t have to worry about undercooking or overcooking the French toast, making it easy on those mornings when your brain hasn’t quite woken up yet.
With an exterior appearance that’s almost indistinguishable from the dairy and egg version and an interior that’s plush and ultra creamy, the only giveaway that you’re not eating eggs is the snow white color of the inside.
I’ve left the custard very simple, but feel free to dress it up with cinnamon, nutmeg, or even some cocoa powder for some chocolate french toast. Because coconut milk tends to be mildly sweet, you could really just top this with some macerated berries, but I love maple syrup, and French toast just isn’t French toast for me unless it’s glistening with the amber syrup.
Vegan French Toast
- 6.8 ounces coconut milk
- 5.3 ounces (150 grams) soft tofu
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 slices of thick-cut bread
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- maple syrup
- Put the coconut milk, tofu and vanilla extract in a blender and puree.
- Place the bread in a tray that's just large enough to hold all the bread and then cover with the coconut milk mixture. Flip the bread a few times to ensure each slice is evenly coated. Let this soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat until hot, and then add the oil and swirl to coat.
- Add the soaked bread to the pan and fry on one side until it browns. Flip and fry until the other side has browned as well.
- Serve with maple syrup or a fruit compote.
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.