This southwestern tofu scramble is one of those dishes with an incredible effort to reward ratio. It takes about ten minutes from start to finish and with a robust flavor and plenty of vegetables, it’s a simple complete meal that’s as delicious as it is simple to make. For those of you that started tuning out at the mention of the word “tofu,” hold your horses.
Thanks to the color from the turmeric and the flavor from the sautéed aromatics and piquant spices, most people would never guess they aren’t eating eggs. In some ways, none of them having to do with lifestyle or health, I actually like these better than eggs. Unlike eggs, which can get tough and chewy if overcooked, tofu stays tender, even after rewarming leftovers in the microwave. This means this dish is almost impossible to screw up. Finally, at least where I live, tofu is about half the price of an equal quantity of eggs.
To keep the tofu from turning into a watery mess, it’s important to squeeze out the excess water using a piece of butter muslin. I usually find the best way to do this is to roughly crumble the tofu into the center of a piece of muslin and then gather up the corners and twist the ends together so the tofu forms a ball, continuing to twist until no water comes out. This rids the outer layer of excess water, but the center is still water so I unwrap it and then roughly crumble again to rearrange and then squeeze again.
While this scramble is ostensibly a breakfast dish, it also makes for a great weeknight dinner when you get home late from work and just don’t have the energy to make a more proper dinner for yourself.
Southwest Tofu Scramble
- 1 pack firm tofu (400 grams)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced (7 grams)
- 1/2 small onion, chopped (85 grams)
- 1 mild pepper, chopped (70 grams)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped (140 grams)
- cilantro (for garnish)
- tortillas (to serve)
- Drain and roughly crumble the tofu onto a piece of butter muslin, and squeeze out the extra water. Rearrange the tofu and then repeat.
- Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium high heat, and sauté the garlic, onions and peppers until the onions are starting to brown around the edges.
- Add the squeezed tofu and sauté until the tofu is just starting to brown. Add the chili powder, salt and turmeric and stir to coat evenly.
- Add the tomatoes and continue frying until the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture is no longer watery.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm tortillas.
Yield: 2 portions
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.