It looks like eggs and tastes like eggs, but it’s definitely not eggs

By Rebecca Firkser
June 27, 2018
Photo courtesy JUST

A few weeks ago, I ate scrambled eggs, but they weren’t made of eggs. I’m not high—I was eating Just Egg, a dairy-free, animal product-free “egg” product that tastes and looks identical to scrambled eggs. Just Egg is a smooth liquid made of mung bean protein, and when heated it gels in a distinctly egg-like way.

Formerly called Hampton Creek, Just is also known for its other dairy-free products like mayonnaise, cookie dough, and cultured meat (which involves harvesting cells from animals without harming them, and then feeding those cells until the product grows large enough to be cooked).

Though they want to make it clear that their products are made without dairy and without harming animals, they don’t necessarily want to be seen as a “special diet” or “vegan” company. Instead, they’d rather be seen as an environmentally friendly, but physically comparable alternative to products that already exist.

Just Egg certainly embodies that ideal. Unlike scrambled tofu, Just Egg looks pretty identical to cracking and beating a few eggs with a bit of milk. The mixture is pale yellow and comes in a plastic bottle that looks like any other condiment you might have in your refrigerator door.

When poured into a hot pan slicked with butter or olive oil, Just Egg reacts exactly like a beaten egg: At first it forms soft curds, and then quickly firms up. Though I haven’t tried this yet, Just Egg can also apparently be used as a egg replacer in baking.

Even with a bit of salt and pepper, the plain scrambled Just Egg tasted faintly bean-y. It's made of beans, so this wasn’t especially shocking. I wouldn’t say I disliked the flavor; it was only slightly confusing considering that the Just Egg looked and had a completely identical mouthfeel to real scrambled eggs. However, upon mixing the Just Egg with tomatoes and onions to make a scramble, the bean-aftertaste mostly faded, leaving the main feeling in my mouth no different than any other scramble I’ve eaten.

While I would certainly recommend Just Egg to vegans and non-vegans alike, I would include a caveat that, like real eggs, it tastes a lot better with cheese. I imagine that if it were used in baking it would add an enjoyable savory undertone to sweets, sort of like the earthy flavor chickpea flour yields in pastries and quick breads.

While I don’t know if I would commit to keeping a container of Just Egg in my fridge at this point, I truly appreciate Just’s commitment to creating a product that makes realistic-tasting and looking scrambled eggs in quantities as large as one would like. Having probably eaten far too many fake-egg products made of thickeners and artificial flavorings in college, I would happily fill up on a plate of Just Egg in the future.