Did you know that you can make tofu taste just like real eggs? This soft tofu scramble recipe looks and tastes just like scrambled eggs. The key ingredients are turmeric powder and black salt, which provide a yellow color and eggy flavor.
Why you'll love this recipe
- The resemblance to real eggs is mind-blowing. When fried in a pan, a "skin" forms around the soft tofu that is very similar to fried eggs. Turmeric provides a yellow color and black salt adds a sulfurous taste that reminds of eggs.
- Scrambled tofu contains about 5 grams of protein per serving!
- Vegan scrambled eggs are great for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Serve them with seed bread or crackers for some carbs and fiber and add some beans to increase the protein content.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Soft tofu, also known as silken tofu is a form of very soft tofu. Never replace silken tofu with extra-firm tofu (block tofu) as you won't get that egg-like texture. Also note that there are two types of silken tofu: soft silken tofu and firm silken tofu. The firm type holds its shape a little better and is more appropriate for making tofu scramble. However, we've only been able to find soft silken tofu and it worked perfectly fine.
Knowledge bites: soft tofu is made in a similar way to block tofu but left unpressed, which is why it retains a lot of moisture. It has a silky smooth texture because the soy milk isn't curdled, as in block tofu. You can read more about the difference between block tofu, soft, firm and extra-firm silken tofu in this post.
- Black salt, also known as kala namak, Indian black salt or Himalayan black salt is high in sulfur naturally found in the Himalayan mountains. It's the sulfur compounds that make the salt smell and taste like eggs, which is why it's often used in vegan recipes. You can find it in organic stores or simply order it online. Note that the black salt isn't actually black but has a pinkish color.
- Turmeric powder provides the yellow color of eggs. You can totally leave it out. Be careful when cooking with turmeric as stains are very difficult to remove.
- Garlic powder and paprika add flavor to your tofu scramble.
- Scallions (green onions) replace regular onions in this recipe. Use the white parts are you would use onions and sauté them with the bell pepper. The green parts can be sliced and used as a topping once the tofu is cooked.
- Adding red pepper is a great way to add veggies to your breakfast or lunch. Feel free to vary the flavors and to use your favorite vegetables. Spinach and broccoli (fresh or frozen) are other great options.
Optional add-ins: nutritional yeast, onion powder, fresh herbs, or even hot sauce. If you want to make it extra special, serve it with vegan sausage.
- Use a nonstick pan, especially if making the recipe with soft silken tofu (versus firm silken tofu). As you can see in the recipe video, the tofu tends to form a skin that sticks to the bottom of the pan. Using a non-stick pan and adding a little bit of oil helps with that and prevents burning.
- Use a flexible spatula rather than a wooden spoon. This allows you to easily scrape the bottom of the pan and release any sticky pieces without damaging the pan.
- Only add the black salt shortly before serving. The salt loses its aroma (and its eggy taste) if cooked for too long.
Step-by-step with pictures
STEP 1: Drain the silken tofu. Remove it from its package and delicately place it in a fine-mesh sieve over the sink. You can't press it like regular tofu as it breaks easily. Simply let the excess water drip off while you chop and sauté the veggies.
STEP 2: Wash and cut the vegetables. Slice the scallions and set the green parts aside (you'll add them to the soft tofu scramble at the end). Remove the core of the bell pepper and cut it into very small dice.
STEP 3: Heat a large frying pan (preferably nonstick) with olive oil, vegan butter, or your preferred cooking oil. Sauté the vegetables over medium-high heat. Once they are soft and golden, remove them from the pan and save them for later.
STEP 4: Add the drained block of tofu to the same pan. Break it up into relatively large chunks (1.5 inches/4 cm). Smaller pieces will form naturally as the excess liquid evaporates and when you flip the tofu around. Cook the tofu over medium-high heat for several minutes without stirring. Let the water cook off. Check if the bottom starts to turn golden and if a "skin" starts to form. If so, flip the pieces.
STEP 5: Add the turmeric, garlic and paprika powder. Continue cooking over medium heat and stir every so often. If pieces start to stick to the pan, use a soft spatula to release them.
STEP 6: Add in the sautée pepper and the green parts of the scallions. Sprinkle with black salt and give it a good stir.
Frequently asked questions
No, you need to use firm or soft silken tofu to get a texture that is similar to scrambled eggs. Regular block tofu would be too dry and brittle.
Yes, you can make silken tofu scramble up to 3 days ahead of time.
If you have leftovers or if you're making some tofu scramble ahead of time, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Serve it with a slice of toast, crackers, homemade vegan bagels, or add it to a breakfast burrito.
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Soft Tofu Scramble
- Cutting board and knife
- Frying pan
- Drain the silken tofu in a fine-mesh sieve while you chop the vegetables (see step-by-step pictures above).
- Cut the vegetables. Wash the scallions and the pepper. Slice the scallions. Save the green parts as a topping. Core the red pepper. Cut it into thin strips and finely dice it.
- Sauté the vegetables. Heat a large frying pan (preferably nonstick) with your preferred cooking oil. Sauté the scallions and red pepper over medium-high heat (approx. 5 minutes). When soft and golden, transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
- Cook the tofu. Add more oil to the same pan. Add in the silken tofu and break it up into 1.5 inches (4 cm) pieces. Smaller pieces will form naturally as the excess liquid evaporates and when you flip the tofu around. Let them cook over medium-high heat without stirring for 3 minutes. Once the tofu starts to turn golden underneath, and most of the excess water has evaporated, flip the pieces around.
- Season. Add the turmeric, garlic powder, and paprika powder to the pan. Continue cooking over medium heat and stir every so often. If pieces start to stick to the pan, use a soft spatula to release them.
- Assemble. When the pieces have firmed up, add the black salt and give it a good stir. Finally, add in the sautéed bell pepper and the green parts of the scallions
- Never replace silken tofu with extra-firm tofu (block tofu) as you won't get that egg-like texture.
- Note that there are two types of silken tofu: soft silken tofu and firm silken tofu. The firm type holds its shape a little better and is more appropriate for making tofu scramble. However, we've only been able to find soft silken tofu and it worked perfectly fine.
- Use a nonstick pan, especially if making the recipe with soft silken tofu. As you can see in the recipe video, the tofu tends to form a skin that sticks to the bottom of the pan. Using a non-stick pan and adding a little bit of oil helps with that and prevents burning.
- Optional add-ins: nutritional yeast, onion powder, fresh herbs, even hot sauce. If you want to make it extra special, serve it with vegan sausage.
- You can make silken tofu scramble up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refigerator.
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