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Jun 23, 2015

Super Eggy Tofu Scramble

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This is by far my favorite tofu scramble ever. My husband and I have this almost every morning for breakfast without much adaptation. Most tofu scrambles out there have you include half a dozen spices, and while that's great, it's just too much measuring in the AM for me. My scramble is down to basics and only requires four ingredients. There's only one caveat: you mustn't be tofu averse.


I was taking an online test the other day ("Which Parks and Rec Character Are You?", obviously), and one of the questions was "What's for breakfast?" Using vegan analogues for the answers, my immediate choice was eggs and toast. Call me basic, but it's my favorite. Maybe I associate it with being a kid and having others cook for me. A big part of my love for this tofu scramble is its eggy quality. That dinery, homey smell of eggs and coffee is one of my favorite things about waking up. I've been vegan for over a decade, and this association still rings true. 

I actually didn't enjoy tofu scramble for years because it didn't really give me what I wanted out of breakfast. People often say "I didn't go vegan because I hated the taste of meat.", and this is true for me and eggs. I never stopped missing the flavor despite my dedication to never eating them again. When I found this scramble's secret ingredient, kala namak, it reawakened scrambles for me, and gave me that egg quality I missed.

Kala Namak (also known as Indian black salt) is a pinkish salt with a sulfurous odor and taste very reminiscent of hard boiled eggs. It's commonly used in South East Asian cuisine, and has became somewhat of a staple in vegan cooking. It also totally changed my breakfast routine for the better.

These are the two power ingredients in my scramble: black pepper and kala namak. This is all you need to resemble the eggy stuff you're used to. Those other high spiced scrambles are great, but for everyday eats I just want something that will taste like diners smell, and highlight what I love about tofu: its ability to take on any flavor you throw its way.

People are funny about tofu, but it's important to remember that tofu isn't a replacement for anything. It's an ingredient unto itself. Once you recognize that you can start to appreciate tofu for the wonderful item it is. My scramble doesn't hide tofu under a mountain of spices. You really only need four ingredients to make it happen. However, should you want some variation this is what I add to spice it up:

First, Magic Vegan Bacon GreaseIt sounds so weird, but it's really just smokey flavored coconut oil. It's not needed, but it adds a decadent Sunday morning kind of feel to the scramble.


I talked about this nutty, and cheesy ingredient in my Cowgirl Cashew Queso post. It's a nutritious and delicious addition to almost anything, but especially scrambles. I only include it sometimes, but when I do it's like a nooch avalanche. 

So this is it. My favorite ever tofu scramble. It's the most simple recipe you'll find, and one that truly resembles scrambled eggs. If you like eggs but have chosen not to eat them then this is the scramble for you. It's certainly the scramble for me.

And in case you're wondering, I'm Leslie Knope.

Super Eggy Tofu Scramble
Ingredients:
  • 1 block of good quality extra firm tofu (organic usually tastes best)
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil/Earth Balance/whatever cooking oil you like
  • black pepper
  • kala namak* (SEE NOTE)
Directions:
1. Drizzle the oil into a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. I would start with one tablespoon, but that's just me. 
2. While the oil heats up drain the tofu, and just use your hands to lightly squeeze out some of the liquid. You're going to cook out most of it so don't fret too much.
3. Carefully crumble the tofu into the pan, and stir it around to get it evenly coated in oil. It's fine if the tofu pieces are large. They'll break down during cooking.
4. Cook the tofu, stirring and scrambling frequently until the liquid has completely evaporated, and the tofu is browning. I use a metal spatula to do this so I can scrape up every bit of tofu that sticks as it browns. 
5. When the tofu is browned to your liking remove the skillet from the heat. Season it with pepper and kala namak to taste, and serve immediately.

*The sulfurous quality of kala namak fades the longer it sits so don't add it until right before serving. Start by adding as much as you would regular salt. Always add less than you think you need at first, and taste it to see if you need more. I find that the fresher the black salt, the saltier it is so the amount you need can vary.

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