First Run at Tofu Scramble

I had picked up some tofu to try it out when I made Pho awhile back, mostly out of curiosity. I don’t miss the protein portion on my plate when it’s absent from a meal, and I get plenty of protein in my diet from the grains and legumes that I eat (and I also still consume dairy from time to time).

But shortly after that, Claudia ran across tofu at Aldi’s and picked up a block for me, figuring that I’d find some use for it. I searched for something along the lines of “best way to prepare tofu” and got several returns for scrambles. It seemed like a fairly simple, almost elegant way to use the product, so I narrowed down the search and came up with three iterations that informed this meal.

I grabbed a potato masher and was ready to go, except for one odd thing that was not in our pantry. More than one article listed a spice called Kala Namak as an essential ingredient to get an “eggy” flavor. At $4 for 3 1/2 ounces, I figured it was worth picking some up to try and have on hand. It is a pinkish salt from the Himalayas, but despite its hue it is generally referred to as “black salt.” It has a slightly sulfurous aroma, as one might expect.

I used the spices and proportions from this recipe at Loving It Vegan. We didn’t have soy milk so I substituted almond. I also started with a sauté of Portobello Mushrooms and spinach in the pan before adding the tofu, and used olive oil instead of vegan butter.

Here’s the sauce, the way I made it.

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Black Salt (Kala Namak)*
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/3 cup Almond Milk

I whisked that together in a measuring cup while the mashed tofu and veggies were heating. Once I added it to the pan and tasted, it still seemed just a bit bland to me, so I added another 1/4 tsp of the Kala Namak, some fresh ground black pepper and a little bit of my favorite barbecue spice mix.

This turned out to be a decent meal. It’s not something that I would go out of my way for, but if someone served it to me and I didn’t know better, I would think it was eggs. The main difference is that in our household scrambled eggs get loaded with cheese, and although the nutritional yeast adds some cheesy flavor, the gooey texture isn’t there. I suppose we could use some vegan cheese if we wanted, but it’s not something we keep on hand.

The nice thing about preparing a meal like this is knowing that if someone I love had a dietary restriction that precluded eggs, whether for ethical or health reasons (albumen allergy or cholesterol limits, etc.) I could still turn out a satisfying, flavorful, traditional breakfast dish for them. This makes me happy.

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