Do you like ’em poached, scrambled, over easy, or sunny-side up? Breakfast-famous, eggs are arguably the most abundant animal protein in the world, with one trillion eggs laid globally. Considering the domestication of chicken (more than any other fowl), they take up a lot of our resources – land, water, energy and put out more carbon dioxide back to the environment. Then there’s the problem with traditional hen houses: squatting in spaces so small that they’re never allowed to move, walk or spread their wings – a real issue that leads to bacterial and viral diseases, which can make humans sick. But we’re not here to scare you with facts. On the contrary, we are here for the opposite – to tell you about something revolutionary. Or better yet, in the words of of internationally acclaimed chef José Andrés “It’s not every day you see something that blows your mind.”
Silicon Valley startup, JUST, née Hampton Creek, have launched an innovative product to create healthier, more sustainable food. Free of antibiotics and cholesterol, JUST Scramble tastes, smells, and cooks like an egg, but also requires less water and releases fewer carbon emissions than the conventional chicken egg. Partnering with Hong Kong’s highly regarded plant-based concept grocery store, deli & cafe chain Green Common, JUST will be introducing JUST Scramble as well as their acclaimed vegan JUST Mayo and JUST Ranch in stores across the city. Growing up on a childhood diet of Burger King and nachos, JUST co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick is dead set on tackling a growing issue in the global food system. “Around the world, we have people eating in a way that is degrading their environment, degrading their body and isn’t aligned with their values,” the Fulbright Scholar said at the launch presentation. “So we’re trying to do what we can every single, possible day to make things a little bit more just and in so many ways that starts with being right here [in Asia].”
Mainland China is the largest egg producer in the world, accounting for over 35% of worldwide egg production. By partnering with Green Common, JUST is extending its distribution network to a country home to nearly 60% of the world’s population – Asia’s World City – that follows the ethos of both companies: to champion a sustainable, wholesome and humane food system for everyone. “The word ‘just’ means two things: fairness and equality. We love the double meaning to it,” Tetrick tells Green Queen exclusively. “We think if there should be equality and fairness in anything, there should be equality and fairness in the food we give our families.”
Building a discovery system from the minds and talents of computational biologists, biochemists and some of the best chefs and food scientists in the world, JUST is on a mission to reconstruct a food system where everyone eats well. Using robotics to sift through plants sourced from countries around the world, it was a lot of trial and error before finding their magical bean. “We looked at lots of different plants and their molecular characteristics,” explained the former linebacker. “Does it aerate in a cake? Does it gel in a pan? Does it make a cookie taste good?” After years of searching, the answer came in the form of a 4,4000-year-old legume: mung beans from China.
High in protein with a lower caloric value, total fat content and none of the worrisome cholesterol associated with consuming eggs, JUST Scramble arrives in a liquid form that resembles beaten eggs. Food Network star and award-winning chef, Kaimana Chee, is giving a demonstration on how to make the perfect scrambled eggs. Pouring the mixture over a hot pan, as it begins to set, he gently pulls the eggs across the pan forming large, soft curds. Bubbling in the center, wisping at the edges – it functions exactly as an egg would. A dash of pepper, sprinkle of salt, and pinch of chives later, the undeniable aroma of breakfast eggs is permeating through Future Bar at Nan Fung Place. Picking up a forkful of perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs, it tastes exactly that – like perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs. Huzzah!
“We need many players to work together to make change happen,” notes Green Monday founder, David Young of the partnership between Green Common and JUST. “Many of these entrepreneurs who are starting great companies and creating great products can’t do it alone. If we put a new age, groundbreaking product in a conventional environment, it won’t stand out as much, which is why we built a future-focused, plant-based concept that people can come in – where they don’t have to think about being a carnivore or herbivore – simply to enjoy good tasting food.” With JUST Scramble only a few weeks old (it launched in San Francisco in December), the company is keeping the full ingredients list under lock and key though we do know that along with mung beans, the product contains water, oil, salt, pepper, black onion, and acid. We can only imagine how many rivals are desperate to get the exact recipe!
Green Common has debuted two brand new dishes on their cafe menu featuring Just Scramble, the All Day JUST Scramble and the JUST Scramble Teriyaki Bowl. For those craving western fare, the All Day Just Scramble (72 HKD) features a healthy array of tomatoes, green salad, mixed mushrooms, baked beans, avocado and whole wheat toast. A spread of black truffle pâté adorns the star Scramble for the ultimate indulgence. The Just Scramble Teriyaki Bowl (82 HKD), a tempting vegan bowl of mixed grains topped with a nutritious and vibrant arrangement of broccoli, carrot, Cordycep flowers, eggplant, cauliflower, Chinese mushroom and JUST Scramble in a homemade Japanese teriyaki sauce showcases Asian flavors with flair. Made with 100% vegan ingredients, the two dishes are available at four select Green Common locations (see below). Just Mayo and JUST Ranch are available to buy at all Green Common stores.
The JUST Scramble dishes are available at the following Green Common locations:
Green Common Nan Fung Place: 1/F, 173 Des Voeux Road, Nan Fung Place, Central, +852 2110 1711.
Green Common Landmark Alexandra: B/F, 18 Chater Road, Landmark Alexandra, Central, +852 3582 4463.
Green Common Harbour City: G/F, Shop OT G61, 17 Canton Road, Ocean Terminal Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 3102 1220.
Green Common Wanchai: 2/F, 202 Queen’s Road East, QRE Plaza, Wan Chai, +852 3586 1968.
Ed.Note: JUST Scramble is not available for retail purchase at the moment.
Images courtesy of JUST (lead), Green Queen, and Green Common.