“No one is too good for some greasy hangover food,” says Shannon Martinez. Collingwood agrees, with Smith & Deli having sold around 40,000 Egg McMartinez muffins since mid-June 2015. The vegan take on McDonald’s Bacon & Egg McMuffin epitomises what Melbourne’s favourite plant-focused chef does best: serving food vegans usually miss out on. “I remember when I first made them, someone cried when they ate it, because they hadn’t had one since they were 12,” says Martinez. She doesn’t give much away about the cooking process, but says the egg white is mostly tofu and the yolk is based on mashed potato. There’s black salt, vegan American-style cheddar and, of course, “bacon”. “The whole point of bacon is the grease, salt and fat,” says Martinez. “We shallow-fry the bacon, salt the shit out of it, and are very liberal with vegan butter.” They’re sandwiched in an English muffin with your choice of sauce and wrapped in custom greaseproof paper (to keep grease in, not out). Martinez tried multiple cooking methods, but insists the best result is with the humble microwave, which steams the muffin and turns vegan cheese slices (which can resist melting) to just the right kind of goo.
By Sofia Levin