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I am making a recipe today that is basically fried mashed potato bites:

  1. Take cold mashed potatoes and mix in a whole egg.
  2. Form a little ball of potato around a little cube of cheese.
  3. Coat in an egg wash and bread crumbs to make a crust.
  4. Pan-fry the mashed potato ball until crispy.
  5. Bake for a few minutes to finish.

However there is an issue that I did not consider until just now, a few hours before dinner: a guest is allergic to egg yolks. If it were just one egg per four cups of potatoes to help bind them or a little egg wash he might be okay, but the recipe as written has too many yolks. Based on experience, this will cause an allergic reaction.

What can I do to get the same binding effect in the recipe with fewer or no egg yolks?

  • Is there something I can substitute? So far my Google-fu brings up many alternatives... for brushing on top of bread, not breading and frying.

  • Could I dilute the egg yolks and still have enough of an effect? For example, if I make a double portion and use one full egg plus the white from a second egg for both mixing in as well as the egg wash. That would likely be dilute enough not to trigger an allergic reaction, but would there be enough yolk to get the job done?

There are no other dietary restrictions relevant to this question.

The recipe: Loaded Cheese-Stuffed Mashed Potato Balls

Four cups of cold mashed potatoes mixed with another cup of toppings and one egg, and another egg used as an egg wash.

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The main binding ingredient in eggs is the protein-rich albumen (the white). The yolk generally imparts flavour and richness. So you should be able to simply leave out the yolks entirely and still get pretty good results. You might add some butter at step one (if you haven't already) to substitute the fat in the egg yolk.

  • Wow I feel dumb. I have been cooking since my first job in a restaurant at age 16 and always thought the yolk made eggs bind, not the albumen. I will try separating the eggs and if that works, accept your answer. – user21524 Nov 26 '15 at 16:53
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Another (eggless) option is to use bread:

  1. remove the crust of bread.
  2. wet the bread.
  3. squeeze the water out of the bread into a pulp
  4. add it to the potatoes

Even easier is to use arrowroot, which is a binder as well.

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