Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fresh Tofu Scrambler

Every good vegetarian has a recipe for a tofu scramble tucked in her or his apron. It's probably one of the very first dishes a new vegetarian learns to prepare, and puts to rest any misgivings one has about not liking tofu. My first introduction was about 17 years ago in a dinner lovingly prepared by mom using a Fantastic Foods mix and served on English muffins. A meal that is now one of my all-time comfort foods.

It's one of those perfect, reliable eats - a dependable friend during meal planning. Always there for you, like lasagna or a stir fry, willing to use up any veggies you need to move out of the crisper; always a complete source of nutrition and whole foods; always willing to be brunch (with toast), dinner (in a tortilla), a snack or anything in between; and, thanks to Fresh Tofu, always ready to show of its local flavor.

One of my favorite discoveries during One Local Summer, Fresh Tofu has been supplying the east coast with organic tofu since 1984 and is distributed throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I purchase mine at a local natural food store (Plumsteadville Natural Foods), though Whole Foods carries it as well. It truly is a superior product, living up to its name and consistently giving great texture and taste to my favorite bean curd recipes. If the gourmet mecca that is Horizon's uses Fresh Tofu, you can safely bank on it awesomeness. Besides, anyone with a flying block of tofu for a logo has got to pretty much rock, right?

Although creating and perfecting a great tofu scramble recipe is one of those must-experience kitchen intimacies, everyone needs a place to start. Vegan cookbook author extraordinaire, Isa Chandra Moskowitz's, version is a great place to do so and provides the base for my recipe below. Her spice combination is so colorful and the flavor can't be beat. If you're not vegan or vegetarian, that shouldn't stop you from honing your scramble skills. In fact, one of my favorite versions is a cilantro-heavy one made by an omnivore friend.

Tofu Scrambler
serves 4

1 pound organic Fresh Tofu, drained and pressed well
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped kale (or other dark, leafy green)
1/2 cup chopped peppers, carrots, and/or any other veggie in the fridge

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
hot sauce to taste

spice blend:
3 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Saute onions 3 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms, saute 5 minutes more. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes more. Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so. Crumble in tofu and mix well. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from sticking too much.

Mix in kale and other vegetables, cover for five minutes, allowing steam to soften them. Stir in hot sauce to taste. Mix in nutritional yeast.

Serve with toast (Bakers on Broad Complet bread was used above) and fruit for breakfast, or in tortillas with guacamole and salsa for dinner.

Although this is my standard recipe, it's really more of an outline. I can't say I've actually ever made the same scrambler twice. Everyone seems to find their own special ingredient, whether it be a spice or veggie or secret sauce, so don't be afraid to experiment!

> Cross-posted at


James said...

*sigh* my downfall remains the patience to properly press/drain/dry out my tofu :/ no worries though, since it's holiday time I get to play with pie making again (this will hopefully turn out better than last years ;)

Judy said...

I have never ever made a tofu scrambler - but then again, I'm not veggie. I'd still like to try though.

Melody Polakow said...

Lovely, just lovely! I adore all sorts of tofu scrambles.. and to James... I never press my tofu... there is really no need to do that! The hot skillet helps to evaporate liquid.

Anonymous said...

Nice one, brotha.

Mikaela said...