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Monday, October 20, 2008

Easy Breakfast Tofu Eggs

I'm not an egg person. Even when I was just a vegetarian, I ate eggs maybe twice a year, and then it was EggBeaters, cooked extra hard, usually to placate someone in the car who had to go to Elmer's or IHOP for breakfast because their coffee has extra crack or something. I never quite understood the pancake house fetish.

But I'm becoming a tofu person. I'm already amazed that extra-firm tofu can become delicious pudding with just a little cocoa, almond extract, and agave. I've enjoyed several Hawaiian meals with fried sweet onions, cabbage, sauce, and tofu. I've been repulsed by the flan-from-Hell-like ickiness of Ma Po Tofu in MSG sauce.

So I decided to try tofu for breakfast. My tofu-for-brekky experience has mostly been with the godawful, half-hearted tofu scrambles that non-vegan restaurants throw on the menu to appease picky Portlanders. Even Mother's restaurant, which flings some pretty good fare, managed to serve me a boring, pass-the-salt-and-pepper-and-anything-else-that-looks-flavorful tofu scramble. To be fair, Lisa at Sweet Pea does come up with a pretty good tofu scramble for brunch sometimes.

With help from others in the PDXVCC, I invented an easy tofu breakfast that is, if I say so my own damned self, quite passable.

The secret: not just turmeric, which is good for a yolky yellow and a little spark of flavor, but also BLACK SALT. This little monster is available at Indian food stores for next to nothing, and it adds a mildly sulphuric, eggy flavor to anything it touches. It's also not black. My bag (from India Food World, I think) is pink. A little dab'll do you with this, so in my short recipe, it's 1/8th teaspoon, but it makes a world of difference to me.

Easy Breakfast Tofu Eggs

  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu, drained and cut in 1/4" or 3/8" slabs (or minced, or mashed, or whatever)
  • 2 T large-flake nutritional yeast (nooch is good for cheesiness, even though I add cheese after)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 t black salt
  • 1/4 t turmeric
    1/4 t paprika
  • 1/4 t garlic sea salt
  • a couple shakes (1/8 to 1/4 t) black pepper
  • a few spritzes of nonstick oil
  • 1 or 2 slices Tofutti vegan American cheese

All spices in a bag or bowl. (Careful with clumping in the paprika and black salt. Shake or squeeze or whisk those out.)

Shake or dredge the tofu with the spices.

Frying pan on medium heat; slam the tofu in it. (Warning: do not actually slam the tofu in the pan or you'll look foolish.)

Cook for 5 minutes. Flip. Cook for 5 more, or until it looks about 2 minutes from being as crispy as you want it to be.

Drop the Tofutti cheese on it. Cover. Cook for another minute or two until the Tofutti cheese melts.

Serve over wheat toast, hash browns, English muffins, or anything else that you grew up eating with eggs.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of dredging the tofu in your spice mix first, have got to try this! I usually roughly crumble the tofu up with my fingers and add the spices in the pan.

    My scramble tends to be of the what's-in-the-fridge-I-can-put-with-tofu variety. Very seasonal -- so the summer scramble included tomatoes, patty pan squash, bell pepper... topped with avocado slices (which for me does just perfectly where I once would have used cheese).

    Christie and I have made a great tempeh hash a couple of times now. Uses crumbled up tempeh, a bag of frozen hash browns, kale, pumpkin seeds... Very tasty stuff.