Monday, 10 March 2014

Scrambled Tofu

It's interesting how being on a low-fat diet has upended my usual eating habits in unexpected ways. The biggest problem I am having is not in avoiding fat, but in avoiding eating too many carbs and then getting the jitters. I find I need to eat a lot more protein to avoid that. I can - and do - eat lots of skinless, boneless chicken breast (ho-hum) and fish, but I am also trying to work some more vegetable protein sources into the diet. Plain beans don't do it. I've been making quite a lot of turkey chili, with lots of beans, and that's okay, but beans on their own seem to be too carby. Or something; I don't know. Fortunately, tofu looks like it will work as a protein source that prevents those dreaded jitters. 

This is one of the standards of North American vegetarian cooking. I first ran across it in a little cafe in Toronto when I was a student, and I have happy memories of sitting on their back deck with a book and a plate of scrambled tofu.

A judicious application of ketchup will help to encourage the resemblance to eggs. I served some sautéed vegetables on the side, but there is no reason not to mix in whatever you like in the way of vegetables. Actually, I should give scrambled tofu a try in Eggs with Tomatoes, Chinese Style; I think that would work quite well.

4 servings
30 minutes prep time

Scrambled Tofu

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried chives (or fresh, if you can get 'em!)
1/8 teaspoon celery seed, ground
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 or 2 medium shallots
1 clove of garlic
400 - 450 grams (14 - 16 ounces) silken or medium-firm tofu
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil

Mix the nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, chives, ground celery seed, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside until needed.

Peel and mince the shallot and garlic.

Rinse the tofu gently, then place it whole in a medium skillet with water to cover the bottom of the skillet by about 1/4". Cook over medium-high heat, with a lid on, for about 10 minutes. Turn the tofu over after 5 minutes. If it looks like the water will all evaporate before the 10 minutes are up, add a little more.

When the tofu has basically steamed for 10 minutes, drain off any remaining water - leave the stove on as you do this, since the skillet will be returned to the heat as soon as you are done.

Add the oil to the skillet, and gently turn the tofu onto it, so as to spread the oil over the bottom of the pan. Return the skillet to the stove. Use a potato masher to mash the tofu coarsely. Add the minced shallot and mix it in well.

Sprinkle about half of the seasoning mixture into the tofu. When it is well blended, sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture into the tofu. Continue cooking and stirring, for about 6 or 7 minutes, until everything is well amalgamated. Mix in the garlic and cook for a minute or two more, continuing to turn the mixture occasionally.

Last year at this time I made Peanut Brittle Sweet Potatoes


Alain Charest said...

It looks like an interesting recipe. We usually make scramble tofu with a commercial mix of spices. Your recipe looks much tastier.

Marnie said...

I'm told that using black salt (kala namak) really makes this taste like eggs (if that's what you're going for). It adds a hint of sulphur.

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Alain!

Marnie, good thought! I even have some black salt; I cleaned out the spice cabinet the other day and found it forgotten at the back. I will give it a try next time.