Scrambled Tofu with Mushrooms

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 20 minutes

Scrambled tofu is surprisingly similar to the texture of eggs scrambled until they are dry, and if you use turmeric they’ll even be a familiar golden color. The trick is to smooth the tofu out in a food processor before cooking, though the quicker crumbled tofu variation is good too. I like to scramble tofu with cooked vegetables; vary the vegetables and seasonings as you like depending on the time of day, the accompaniments, or your mood.

1 pound firm tofu, drained, patted dry, and cut into chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

8 ounces button or shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Put the tofu into a food processor and pure until smooth. (This will take a couple minutes; just let the machine run.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the turmeric if you like. Pulse a few more times to mix well.

Put the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are dry and starting to brown.

Stir in the tofu and continue cooking and stirring until the tofu is heated through and as dry as you like it, anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and garnish with the parsley if you like.

Variations

Basic Scrambled Tofu. Perfect as an ingredient to combine with stir-fries, sauts, and noodle or rice dishes. Increase the amount of tofu to 11/2 to 2 pounds and sprinkle in just a little more turmeric. Omit the mushrooms.

Scrambled Tofu with Bean Sprouts. Perfect on top of rice or noodles: Replace the mushrooms with 2 cups bean sprouts. Proceed with the recipe, garnishing with sliced scallion instead of the parsley if you like.

Smoky Scrambled Tofu with Onions. Barbecue sauce (to make your own, see Fast, Down-Home Barbecue Sauce) is perfect with this: Use smoked tofu instead of regular tofu. Replace the mushrooms with a large onion and chop it roughly. Proceed with the recipe.

Chile Scrambled Tofu. Spicy and sweet: Instead of the mushrooms, core, seed, and chop 1 medium red bell pepper and 1 or 2 minced fresh chiles (like jalapeo or Thai), or to taste, or hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste.

Miso Scrambled Tofu. Follow the directions for the main recipe or the Basic Scrambled Tofu variation: In Step 3, when the tofu is cooked nearly how you like it, add a tablespoon or two of any miso paste and scramble until well combined.

The Simplest Scrambled Tofu. Without the food processor, with a more rustic texture: Skip Step 1 and simply crumble the tofu with your hands or 2 forks in a small bowl. Season as you like and use this in the main recipe or any of the variations.

5 Ways to Eat Scrambled Tofu

  1. As a filling for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas
  2. In any vegetable stock, preferably with cooked noodles, rice, or other grain
  3. On top of toasted bread for Crostini
  4. Stuffed into Baked Potatoes
  5. In a Sushi Bowl or simply tossed with cooked rice noodles, dark sesame oil, and a little soy sauce