Vegan Baking Substitutes, Onion Rings, And How PETA Is Sometimes Helpful

I’m still pretty new to vegan cooking, so my mind was blown when I found this cheat-sheet of egg and dairy substitutes on Bliss Tree. It comes from PETA, whose politics I don’t always agree with (thanks for the graphic of the baby chick crying), but this thing is seriously helpful in the kitchen. I experimented with it this weekend and cooked something I’ve been wanting to make for a while. . .

Vegan onion rings! (Recipe below the fold.)

This was super easy to make. I just grabbed a recipe for onion rings online and subbed two tablespoons of corn starch plus two tablespoons of water for the egg. For the milk, I used the same amount of unflavored soy milk. It worked like a charm! And, since I made the same exact recipe a few months ago with real eggs and milk, I can vouch for the fact that it came out looking and tasting exactly like the non-vegan version. Onion rings are yet another thing that really has no reason to have dairy in it, because they’re so fried anyway that you honestly can’t taste the difference. I fed these to some of my non-vegan friends, who didn’t guess that these were vegan until I told them.

Another benefit to making onion rings at home is that you can control how you fry them. Using fresh oil is less carcinogenic than oil that’s been reheated several times, as you might find in restaurants, and frying them is slightly better for you than deep-frying.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, cut horizontally into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup soy milk milk, or as needed
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs (Note: make sure the brand you buy doesn’t contain eggs)
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • 1 quart peanut or olive oil for frying, or as needed
Fill a frying pan with oil, about 1/2 an inch deep, and heat it on a medium-low temperature. Wait until the oil gets hot (test it by dropping in a small amount of batter and seeing if it sizzles), then coat the onion rings in the batter and put them on. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the batter turns a deep golden brown, then serve. This recipe makes about two platefuls; don’t try to eat them all by yourself.
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