I’ve got good news for all you chicken lovers out there. Whether you’re on a vegan diet, have an egg allergy, or just ran out of eggs, there’s no need to despair. Frying chicken without eggs is totally doable, and honestly, it can result in some pretty spectacular flavors.
So, let’s dive into the world of egg substitutes and find the best egg substitute for your next chicken recipe.
Understanding Egg Substitutes in Frying
Let’s hit pause for a sec and talk about why eggs are typically used when frying chicken. Eggs are usually used in frying chicken as a binding agent to hold the bread crumbs or flour to the chicken pieces. The egg wash gives that golden brown, crispy coating we all love. They excel at this job due to their proteins.
As the egg heats up during frying, these proteins coagulate, forming a firm structure that binds the breading to the chicken. It’s akin to a culinary construction crew, hardening into place as things heat up.
Maybe you’re out of eggs, or perhaps you’re making quick breads where eggs can make things too cakey. The main ingredient – eggs – can be replaced, and I’m here to tell you how.
Versatility of Substitutes
You might be thinking, “What are the best substitutes for eggs when frying chicken?” And the answer is a resounding YES! These substitutes aren’t just great options, they’re versatile. Whether you’re using vegetable oil, melted butter, or even a tofu scramble, you can achieve the best results. And the best part? You can use these substitutes for all kinds of food items, not just chicken cutlets. Talk about a great way to mix things up in the kitchen!
Dairy Products as Egg Substitutes
In our post-egg scenario, we’re looking for ingredients that can mimic eggs’ properties. Dairy products like milk, buttermilk, and yogurt are often top picks because they contain proteins that, like eggs, coagulate during cooking. They also tenderize the meat, thanks to their acidity.
Fruits as Unexpected Egg Substitutes
But don’t let your imagination stop at the dairy aisle. Various plant-based ingredients, like mashed bananas or applesauce, can also work in a pinch. They’re stickier than eggs, helping the breading adhere, and their natural sugars caramelize during frying, adding a delightful hint of sweetness.
Starches and Flours as Binding Agents
Then there’s the world of starches and flours, from cornstarch to chickpea flour. When mixed with water, these create a paste that can act as a binding agent for your breading. As they heat up, they also form a firm structure, akin to what happens with egg proteins.
Choosing the Right Egg Substitute
So, in essence, choosing an egg substitute comes down to what you have on hand and what flavor profile you’re going for. With so many options, there’s no need to scramble when you’re out of eggs – you’re covered!
Commonly Used and Easily Available Substitutes
These are the ones you’re likely to find lounging in your pantry or fridge, waiting for their moment to shine. Like reliable friends, they’re always there when you need them.
This is your everyday hero, ready to step in when eggs are missing in action. Milk’s protein helps the coating stick to the chicken, just like eggs would. It’s probably already in your fridge, waiting for its moment in the spotlight. Just dip your chicken in milk, roll it in the coating, and fry. Expect a slightly less rich flavor than with eggs, but a delightful crispiness nonetheless.
2. Heavy Cream
If milk is the everyday hero, then heavy cream is like the fancy superhero – a bit richer and more indulgent. It can add a layer of depth to your chicken’s flavor profile. Use it just like you would use milk, and expect a richer, creamier taste to your chicken. Just a heads up, the coating might brown a bit quicker due to the higher fat content. Keep an eye on it while frying!
Yogurt’s creamy texture and slight tanginess make it a great substitute for eggs in your fried chicken recipe. Dip your chicken pieces into yogurt before coating them with breadcrumbs or flour. You might be surprised how much you like this twist!
4. Greek Yogurt
If you want a thicker coating, Greek yogurt is your friend. Its rich, creamy texture clings onto the chicken, making a perfect base for the coating. Remember, it’s tangier than regular yogurt, so it’ll add a bit of zing to your chicken.
5. Sour Cream
Sour cream brings a creamy, tangy twist to the table. It’s thicker than regular yogurt, so it provides a great base for the coating to stick to. A dollop of sour cream might just make your fried chicken the talk of the town!
6. Tomato Paste
If you’re up for a bit of tang, tomato paste could be your egg substitute. Mix it with a little water to create a paste, then use it as your dipping medium before coating. Tomato paste adds a subtle acidity and depth of flavor to your chicken that’s quite the game changer. Remember to cook on a medium heat to prevent burning the sugars in the tomato paste.
7. Egg Replacer
There are commercial egg replacers available that work wonderfully in fried chicken recipes. They’re usually a mixture of potato starch, tapioca starch, and leavening agents. Just mix with water according to the package instructions, and you’re good to go.
8. Ground Flaxseed mixed with Water
Consider this the dark horse of the substitutes. Mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water, let it sit for a few minutes until it gets gooey, then use it just like you would an egg. This combo doesn’t bring much flavor to the party, but it does an excellent job of making the coating adhere to the chicken. Your chicken will come out with a golden, crispy exterior that might just make this your go-to substitute.
9. Olive Oil or Canola Oil
Olive oil and canola oil can create a quick “egg wash” for your chicken. It might not be traditional, but the final product can still be deliciously crispy.
It might sound unconventional, but ketchup can be a surprisingly good egg substitute in your fried chicken recipe. It can help the coating stick to the chicken, and it adds a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that can complement the savory spices in your breading. Be cautious with the rest of the salt in your recipe as ketchup contains salt.
11. Cottage Cheese
Now here’s a surprise entry! It might sound odd, but cottage cheese can work. It’s creamy and mild, and it’ll give your chicken a different kind of tanginess. Just blend it until smooth before using it as a dip for your chicken.
12. Unsweetened Applesauce
This may sound a little surprising, but trust me, it works! Applesauce adds moisture to the chicken, helping the coating to stick. Plus, it brings a subtle sweet note that could be the secret weapon of your fried chicken. Just dip, coat, and fry as usual. The result? A crispy, subtly sweet treat.
13. Applesauce and Flour
This is just a leveled-up version of the applesauce substitute. Mix equal parts of applesauce and flour to form a batter, dip your chicken in it, then in the coating, and fry. You get a bit more heft with your coating this way, and a hint of sweetness that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance.
Plant-Based and Vegan Substitutes
These substitutes are the poster children of the green movement in the kitchen. They’re out there marching, picket signs in hand, chanting “No eggs, no problem!” From aquafaba to tofu, they’re here to prove that plants can party just as hard in the frying pan. If you’re about the vegan life or just want to dabble, this section’s for you.
14. Vegan Mayo
Why not swap eggs with something that usually contains eggs but in this case, doesn’t? This is a great substitute if you’re looking for something that mimics the creaminess of egg yolks. It’s creamy, it’s tangy, and it does an amazing job of helping the coating stick to your chicken. Or should I say, chick’n?
15. Aquafaba (Chickpea Liquid)
The next time you open a can of chickpeas, save that liquid! Known as aquafaba, this stuff is like gold for vegan cooking. It’s the same consistency as whisked eggs, so it is a fantastic egg substitute. Plus, it’s practically flavorless, so it won’t change the taste of your fried chicken.
16. Tofu Scramble and Silken Tofu
This one’s a little out of left field, but hear me out. Blend silken tofu until it’s smooth, and it can easily replace eggs in your frying process. It has a neutral flavor, so it won’t mess with your seasoning. But the best part? It’s a protein powerhouse. Who said fried chicken can’t be healthy-ish? Just add some turmeric for color and black salt for that eggy flavor.
17. Almond Milk
Almond milk is all about texture. With a slight nuttiness, it can be a unique twist to your chicken frying. Use it just like you’d use regular milk for dipping before coating.
18. Soy Milk
A bit on the sweet side, soy milk adds a nice contrast to the savory chicken. Use it for dipping before coating, just as you would with any other milk.
19. Coconut Milk
Subtly coconutty, coconut milk can bring a tropical vibe to your kitchen. It’s perfect for dipping your chicken in before coating.
20. Oat Milk
This plant-based milk is a great egg substitute for those with nut allergies. Oat milk has a creamy, slightly sweet flavor that can add a pleasant note to your chicken. Use it as you would use other kinds of milk for dipping before coating.
21. Nut Butter
This might sound a bit wild, but sometimes, wild works. Choose a neutral nut butter like cashew or almond, thin it out with a bit of water, and use it as your dipping medium. You’ll get a hint of nuttiness in your chicken that’s pretty irresistible.
If you’ve got hummus in your fridge, you’ve got an egg substitute. The creamy texture helps the coating stick, and the flavors of chickpea and tahini bring an extra layer of deliciousness to your chicken. Just don’t use the garlic or red pepper varieties unless you’re ready for some kick
23. Flax Egg
Flaxseed egg is a vegan egg substitute hero. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water, let it sit for a few minutes, and voila! You’ve got yourself an eggless batter
24. Chia Egg
Chia egg is another plant-based substitute that works wonderfully for an eggless batter. Similar to the flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water and let it sit for a few minutes before use.
25. Chickpea Miso
Looking for a salty, umami flavor in your fried chicken? Chickpea miso could be your new secret ingredient. Mix it with a little water to create a paste for dipping.
26. Tahini Paste
Tahini adds a rich, nutty note to your chicken. It’s perfect for those who love a punch of flavor. Just create a paste with a bit of water for dipping.
27. Pureed Cooked Vegetables
Pureed cooked vegetables, like carrots or squash, can also be used as an egg substitute. They add moisture, help the coating adhere to the chicken, and bring a subtle flavor and some extra nutrients to your dish. Just blend your cooked vegetables until smooth and use it as your dipping medium.
28. Sourdough Starter
Sourdough starter isn’t just for bread. It can also be used as a replacement for eggs in fried chicken. It gives the chicken a slight tangy flavor and a lovely crispy crust.
29. Aloe Vera Gel
Now, this might sound a bit out there, but aloe vera gel can be used as an egg substitute. It has a similar consistency to egg whites and can help bind the breading to the chicken. However, use sparingly to avoid a bitter taste.
Substitutes for Texture and Flavor
This category is for the culinary adventurers, the ones who aren’t afraid to play with their food. These substitutes are all about adding that extra kick, that unexpected twist, that “Wait, is that…?” moment to your fried chicken. If you’re ready to turn your kitchen into a flavor laboratory, dive right in!
This old-school favorite is all about the tang. It tenderizes the chicken and adds a subtle, creamy tang that can’t be beat. Just be sure to let your chicken marinate in it for a few hours to get the full effect.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Mayo? Really? But trust me, it works. It helps the breading stick, browns beautifully, and adds a tangy flavor. And since mayo is made from eggs and oil, you’re kinda sorta still using eggs.
32. Flour and Water Slurry
Meet the first member of the slurry squad. It’s virtually flavorless, so it won’t mess with your seasoning game. Just mix equal parts of flour and water, and you’re good to go.
33. Cornstarch and Water Slurry
Another member of the slurry squad, cornstarch and water slurry is all about creating a sticky base for your breading.
34. Chickpea Flour and Water Slurry
Chickpea flour adds a nutty flavor to your breading. Just remember to mix it with water before using.
35. Rice Flour and Water Slurry
Rice flour brings a subtle sweetness to the table. Mix it with water to make a slurry before using it.
36. Arrowroot Powder and Water Slurry
The last member of the slurry squad, arrowroot powder brings some serious sticking power to your breading.
You know what’s unexpectedly awesome? Mustard. Yes, you heard that right! Use it as an egg substitute to add a little tang to your fried chicken. Besides providing a nice yellow color, it helps the coating stick to the chicken.
38. Potato Starch
A member of the starchy trio, potato starch can mimic the thickening power of whole eggs. It’s a great option for a crispy coating.
39. Tapioca Starch
Tapioca starch, just like potato starch, can give you that thick, sticky base for your breading. Just mix with water to form a slurry.
40. Pesto Sauce
Want to add an Italian twist to your fried chicken? Try using pesto sauce as an egg substitute. It adds a nice herby flavor and helps the coating adhere to the chicken.
41. Worcestershire Sauce
Want some umami flavor in your fried chicken? Worcestershire sauce can be used as an egg substitute. It helps create a flavorful, savory crust.
42. Soy Sauce
If you’re after some umami flavor in your fried chicken, soy sauce can be your go-to. It helps create a flavorful, savory crust. Just be careful with the salt in the rest of your recipe due to the soy sauce’s inherent saltiness.
Healthier and Nutrient-Rich Substitutes
These substitutes are the ones that gym-goers and health buffs high-five in the supermarket aisle. They’re the substitutes that whisper, “Sure, you’re frying chicken, but you’re doing it with a side of vitamins and fiber.” If you like to sneak in some health benefits while still indulging, these are your new best friends.
43. Mashed Avocado
Think outside the toast! Avocado’s creamy texture makes for a mean egg substitute in your fried chicken recipe. It’s packed with heart-healthy fats and fiber, so it’s a win-win. Just mash it up and use it as your dipping medium. Expect a slight change in flavor, but hey, who doesn’t love avocado?
44. Mashed Banana
Don’t be scared of a bit of sweetness! Mashed banana can complement the savory flavors of your chicken. Plus, it’s packed with vitamins and fiber.
45. Pumpkin Puree
Slightly sweet, pumpkin puree can be an interesting addition to your fried chicken. It also sneaks in some nutrients into your indulgent meal.
46. Sweet Potato Puree
Just like its friends mashed banana and pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree adds a touch of sweetness and a whole lot of nutrients. It’s worth a try!
47. Mashed Beans
Beans are your protein pals. Blend them up to create a sticky, egg-like consistency that ensures your breading sticks to your chicken.
48. Mashed Lentils
Just like mashed beans, mashed lentils provide a sticky base for your breading and some plant-based protein.
49. Pureed Beans
Pureed beans, much like mashed beans and lentils, create a sticky, egg-like consistency. Perfect for ensuring your breading sticks to your chicken.
50. Mashed Potatoes
Talk about a spud-tacular idea! Mashed potatoes make a surprisingly good egg substitute in frying chicken. They help the coating stick to the chicken, and bonus, they add a hint of cozy, comforting potato flavor.
Now, aren’t you glad we’re not stuck with just eggs? With all these substitutes, you can cater to dietary restrictions, health goals, and flavor adventures. Now go on and channel your inner culinary Picasso!
Egg-cellent Substitutes for Frying Chicken
Well, there you have it – 50 of the best substitutes for eggs in your fried chicken recipe. Now it’s time to put on that apron, grab those chicken pieces, and start experimenting. Remember, the key to a great dish is making it your own. Whether you’re using cold water to make a slurry, or whisking up some vegan mayo, you’re on your way to making some delicious fried chicken. So go forth and fry, my fellow Apron Aces!