I have never liked chicken eggs. Not once. Those slimy, gooey, bubbly things some people call breakfast are just not for me. I used to eat them along with everyone else and pretended to enjoy them, while really hiding them under my leftover toast.
Gone are the days of eating what I don't want to eat! I have one friend who said if she went vegan, the hardest thing for her to give up would be eggs. I simply do not understand this. They're gross!! But you know what's not gross? Tofu. Shhhhh... I can hear the rants coming from anti tofu-ers all over the world.
Hear me out! Tofu comes from a bean. A soybean. Yep. Why people have such aversion to tofu, but not to chickpeas, or kidney beans, or whatever kind of bean they like is beyond me. It's just a lovely product that can be flavoured and loved to become all sorts of fabulous textures and flavours.
I admit I have had some pretty lousy tofu in my day. Even made by me (hey, I gotta learn somehow). When it's done right, it really can be damn tasty.
A tofu scramble is a classic hearty vegan breakfast, but there are some tofu scrambles that have these classic pitfalls:
Common mistake #1: no seasoning!
Common mistake #2: too much salt (a problem I see a lot when non-vegans try to make a vegan dish)
Common mistake #3: An odd mixture of veggies. Hello, dripping with soy sauce bok choy tofu scramble at the restaurant down the street: I'm looking at you.
So what makes a good tofu scramble?
- A well designed, super yum spice mixture.
- Hearty veggies that add texture and flavour.
- The right tofu texture.
And with that, I present to you, my favourite tofu scramble. Full of flavour without being full of salt, lots of texture with red peppers, mushrooms, and black beans, and hearty enough to fill even the hungriest of muscle covered vegan dudes.
I like to use extra firm silken tofu for my scrambles, medium-firm tofu, or firm tofu. The extra firm silken tofu (as seen above) will give you the silkiest egg-like texture all the way to the firm tofu which will give you a bit more chew. So choose your tofu according to how firm you would like your scramble to be.
Another key to this recipe is black salt.
The most unusual thing about black salt is that it isn't black. It's pink. No, this isn't the same as Himalayan salt. You can find this salt in Indian grocery stores or online here. Why bother? Just taste it, and you will discover it tastes just like eggs. I use it in dishes such as my Vegan Toast Dipping Sauce, and my Vegan Fried Egg to get that egg-y smell and flavour. Or if you're not into that taste or don't have black salt on hand you can just use regular salt.
To make Tofu Scramble: First, toss all the spice mix ingredients into a bowl and give a little stir.
Bonus tip: You can double, triple, quadruple, or whatever you like this spice recipe and save some for later so your next scramble will be even breezier... or cheesier. Maybe even try this cheater mix!
Roughly chop the red pepper, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. I like to leave things a bit chunky so there is lots of body and texture.
Drain and rinse the black beans. Rinse those beans well! The last thing you want to add to your scramble is slimy bean water.
Place a pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onions, peppers, and mushrooms and sauté for about 8 minutes until everything just starts to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Now add the tofu blocks and smash them apart with your spoon. Don't mash it to death, you want some nice scramble chunks in there. If you are using a different type of tofu you might have to break it apart with your hands.
Add the spice mix, and black beans and stir everything up. Heat through for about another 8 minutes. Then you're done! Serve with toast, some avocado, or however you want to dress up your scramble.
Tofu Scramble: Breakfast of (vegan) Champions
For the spice mix:*
For the tofu scramble:
- 1 tablespoon oil (such as olive or vegetalbe)
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced (about 1 ½ cups sliced)
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 454g block medium-firm tofu or firm tofu OR 2 349g blocks extra firm silken tofu (a little more or less tofu won't make a big difference)
- 1 19oz can black beans (2 cups), drained and rinsed
- Add all of the spice mix ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the mushrooms, pepper, onion, and garlic and sauté for about 8 minutes until everything just starts to brown.
- Add the tofu blocks and break it apart with your spoon until you get a nice scramble texture with lots of chunks. Stir in the spice mix and black beans. Heat through for another 5 - 8 minutes until hot.