Scrambled Tofu

I just made my first-ever batch of scrambled tofu and I’m so happy with how it turned out. I have a confession to make: I’ve had scrambled tofu at restaurants before and have not really enjoyed it. I mean, it was okay, but I didn’t LOVE it. I couldn’t see what the big deal was.

Enter the wonderful Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her Vegan Brunch book. On page 19 in black and white I read in Isa’s own words: “I’ve had one too many disappointing scrambles in my day. Infractions ranged from flavorless heaps of greasy mush to way overspiced, grainy disasters. As simple a concept as it is, some people just don’t get scrambled tofu.”

This was like an epiphany! I mean, if the goddess of vegan cooking and baking could admit that she didn’t like all the tofu scrambles that have crossed her plate, then it meant there was hope for me too!

I continued reading, and found her basic “go-to” recipe for scrambled tofu. Isa’s recipes have never let me down yet, so I decided to give it a try! I’m so glad I did! This one will be a keeper. (and I think I’ll mix the leftovers with some diced up tomato and put it in a wrap for tomorrow’s lunch)

Spice Blend
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed with your fingers (from the garden! yay!)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water

3 garlic cloves, minced (I actually only used 1 and a half, wasn’t really feeling very “garlicky” this morning)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
fresh black pepper to taste

Blend spices together in a small cup. Add water and mix. Set aside.
Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic in olive oil for about a minute. Break apart the tofu into bite-sized pieces and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Get under the tofu when you are stirring, scrape the bottom and don’t let it stick to the pan; that is where the good, crispy stuff is. (use a thin metal spatula; a wooden or plastic one won’t really cut it) The tofu should brown on at least one side, but you don’t need to be too precise about it. The water should cook out of it and not collect too much at the bottom of the pan. If that is happening, turn up the heat and let the water evaporate. Conversely, if the scramble seems dry add splashes of water until it is nice and moist.
Add spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the nutritional yeast and pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm. (note: this dish is really yummy with a side of garden tomatoes!)

(And speaking of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, check out her newly designed Post Punk Kitchen site! Totally fantastic!)

7 thoughts on “Scrambled Tofu

  1. mmmmmm. I bet the nutritional yeast makes it. I always forget to use it — so good. Also, texture-wise: I kind of like the texture of frozen and then thawed tofu for a scramble — crumbly / spongey.

    (and I’m with you on how many bad ones there are out there! Even at the same restaurant…I’ve had super-awesome tofu scramble at the Gladstone with cumin, miso, turmeric and spring onions and blechy, greasy, southwestern style there too)

  2. Uggh. I like scrambled tofu, but not nutritional yest. I’ve never been able to stand the smell or taste of it. I’ve had roommates that were crazy for it — in large doses — but that yeasty-cheesy smell turns my stomach upside down.

    However, thyme from the garden sounds lovely.

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