Substitutes for an Egg Dredge

Whether you're allergic to eggs or simply wish to avoid them for other reasons, you may worry you'll have to forgo your favorite dishes. But don't worry: It's easy enough to find an egg substitute, such as cornstarch or flax seeds, so you'll still be able to enjoy breaded chicken without egg wash.

Breading helps keep them moist.
Credit: Zbarovskiy96/iStock/GettyImages

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports that it's estimated that up to 2 percent of children are allergic to eggs, although about 70 percent of those will outgrow the condition by age 16.

Symptoms of an egg allergy, according to the Mayo Clinic, can include skin inflammation or hives, nasal congestion, digestive symptoms such as cramps, nausea and vomiting and asthma symptoms. Severe cases, though rare, can lead to life-threatening anaphylaxis. The Cleveland Clinic recommends following an egg-free diet if you've been diagnosed with an allergy, and cautions to read food labels carefully.

Breading Without Eggs — Vegan Cooking

When you're breading a food, eggs function as the sticking agent, meaning that they help the bread crumbs stick to the meat, fish or vegetables with which you're working. So when you look for an egg substitute for breading, keep this principle in mind and make sure whatever you swap for the egg has similar sticking power.

If you're a vegan — meaning that you follow a diet that doesn't include any animal products, including eggs — it's possible to make a breading without eggs. If you're following a recipe that calls for breading vegetables using an egg dredge, try making a flax egg. Combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with two parts of water, whisk together and let the mixture stand for five minutes to thicken. Use in place of the egg in the recipe.

Starches such as cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot powder when whisked with water to create a slurry also can function in place of an egg dredge. A simple method is as follows: Combine 1 tablespoon of starch of choice with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Whisk together until a smooth paste forms.

Read more: 6 Thickening Agents for Cooking and Baking That Aren't Flour

In a heavy bottom saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Stir in the starch mixture and reduce heat to medium-low; cook for about six to eight minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before using.

Another egg substitute for frying vegan foods is to lightly coat vegetables in vegan mayonnaise or mustard. Both vegan mayo and mustard will help the breading stick to the vegetables before you fry them.

Breaded Chicken Without Egg Wash

To make chicken cutlets without eggs or milk, try a simple mixture of ground flaxseeds and non-dairy milk. If you can eat dairy but not eggs, you can replace the egg wash with milk; it should be moist enough to help the bread crumbs adhere to the chicken.

Try our Pan-Seared Breaded Chicken recipe but replace the eggs with a flax seed egg substitute to make breaded chicken without egg wash.

Read more: Can You Pan-Fry Breaded Chicken in Olive Oil?

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