Tofu is a tricky beast. I think a lot of new vegans turn to scrambled tofu when they first go vegans, but without knowing a few tricks, it can taste awful. And then you’ll be put off for years, until ingredients like nutritional yeast and liquid aminos have found their way into your cupboard, and one morning you’ll try again- this time after draining or freezing the tofu, or adding lots of nutritional yeast, or a whole heap of herbs and spices. And it will be delicious- different from the scrambled egg you remember from years ago, but still wonderful. And you’ll realise you’ve spent years without the hot mess now half eaten on your plate. And that’s a travesty.
A few weeks ago the folks at Mori-nu Silken Tofu got in touch and asked me if I’d like to try a recipe using their firm tofu- and of course I said yes! Now I have quite a few pudding recipes involving tofu- and I also love draining it to coat in panko or sesame seeds and shallow frying alongside a stir-fry or a big bowl of noodles. But for this recipe I wanted to go way back to making a decent scrambled tofu.
If you have a few vegan friends, you’ll know most of them have a different way of making this, and their own particular secret ingredients or tricks- but it’s also a really easy breakfast food to make. You don’t have to drain it or soak it if you don’t have time, and as long as you add enough flavour, it’s bloody delicious. I always say to people that moan about tofu being tasteless- think how much preparation goes into flavouring meat or fish- that’s what you need to do here too. It’s a great source of protein and a flavour sponge that’s super tasty when you know how to treat it. And so…
… I made this dry-spiced tofu ahead of a long train journey. It’s perfect for those mornings that feel endless until they hit 1pm- 6 Music on, lots of coffee in the pot to soak up, and a few vegetables and spices to use up in the kitchen. Invite your neighbours over, dig out that snazzy dressing gown you bought once, use the best mugs you own- this is a meal to savour.
I added chilli potatoes, slices of watermelon and grilled toast for this- you can find the potato recipe here. (full disclosure: I also added slices of beetroot as I had some to use up from our vegetable bag- but it didn't work so well, which is why I haven't added it to the recipe here!)
Dry-spiced scrambled tofu with greens and tomatoes
1 white onion, finely chopped
Sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 pack silken, firm tofu, such as Mori-nu Silken Tofu, strained from any liquid in the packet when opened
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Juice of one lemon
Handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped
Handful of greens, such as cavolo nero, kale, leek or spring greens, roughly chopped
Handful of tomatoes, roughly chopped
Start by sweating an onion in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add in the spices and combine, then add the tofu- it will fall apart naturally and you don’t need to break it down too much as this will just happen as you cook the scramble.
Stir the spices through the scramble, then season and add the lemon juice. Test the flavour to make sure you can taste the spices - adjust to your own preferences.
Make sure the tofu isn’t going to burn- add a little more oil if it is sticking to the bottom of the pan, and then add the mushrooms, greens and tomatoes.
Combine and let everything cook through- continue to test the scramble for flavour and add more salt, pepper or spices if needed. Make sure you don't over-work the tofu too much- you don't want it to break down into nothing- just gently stir through with a spoon so you can keep those bigger chunks.
Serve up with toast, spiced potatoes or just a decent cup of coffee.
Here are twelve of my favourite recipes for autumn cooking.