Two Fast and Easy Tofu Dinners
In my pre-vegan days eggs were often my go to ingredient for a quick dinner. Now that I’m vegan, I still make some of the same convenience foods only I use the magic of tofu instead of eggs. Scrambled tofu and fried rice are great ways to get dinner on the table fast.
The beauty of tofu is often the same reason some people hate it. It’s a great flavor base because it’s essentially flavorless. To me, it’s a blank canvas that soaks up the marinades and herbs I add to become my own concoction. Scrambling tofu is surprisingly similar to scrambling eggs in that the excitement comes from the add-ins. (And be honest, the picture above looks pretty close to regular scrambled eggs.)
There are many different types of tofu and the one we’ll use today is firm or extra firm. The only difference between those two and soft is the amount of water that has been pressed out of it. You’ll find some of these labeled sprouted tofu as well, and sprouted or non-sprouted will work just fine.
The tofu torture device below is a Tofuxpress that will press the water out of the tofu to give it a firmer texture. It works on all firmness and the longer you press it the firmer it gets. If you don’t have a fancy tofu press you can do it the old fashioned way.
Silken tofu makes a great mousse, sauce, or even a custard replacement, but doesn’t crumble well so do not use it in scrambled tofu.
One ingredient you need for a picture perfect scrambled tofu is turmeric because it colors the tofu that yellowish color everyone expects to see. The other important addition is kala namak which is a salt that has less sodium, but has a sulfur taste that mimics the flavor of eggs.
Like many dinners I make when I’m too tired and have no time, this one is a little free form. It’s a perfect way to use up the last of your csa veggies or you can raid your emergency bag of frozen veggies.
Free-form Tofu Fried Rice Recipe
My next favorite way to use scrambled tofu is to make it plain, with only turmeric and kala namak, and use it in fried rice. Fried rice works best with leftover rice that’s cold in the fridge so it’s a perfect last minute meal and it uses up your leftovers!
Press the tofu as above and crumble in a bowl. Then mix in the turmeric and kala namak to make it look scrambled. You’ll add it in later to the mix to cook it.
Heat a couple of tablespoons canola or peanut oil in a large skillet or wok. Add onion and saute until translucent, then add the rest of the veggies (about 2 cups of carrots, peas, bell pepper, etc.) and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes more or until all the veggies are tender but not completely cooked through. (You don’t want them to be mushy!)
Add some grated ginger, soy sauce or coconut aminos, and add about 3 to 4 cups cold, pre-cooked brown rice. Mix well and add the tofu mixture. (I also added in some crumbled tempeh bacon to give it a smoky flavor.)
Add extras like hot or regular sesame oil, sriracha to spice things up a bit. Serve on the side if your family has different heat tolerances.