the simple secret to tofu that even hardened carnivores will LOVE
[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]

scrambled tofu-3 scrambled tofu-2

‘We’re having tofu for dinner tonight, honey’ – words to make a hardened carnivore cringe. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Before my Irishman and I embarked on our vegetarian month back in May, neither of us were that excited about tofu. And while we didn’t become raving tofu fans immediately, my interest in this underrated vegetarian staple was piqued.

Since then I’ve been experimenting. First there was my smoked tofu phase – the vegetarians answer to bacon. Then I got into marinating and pan frying – with some wonderful results.

But my latest discovery has been scrambled tofu. Which gets rid of the whole square, unnatural shape problem. But the best thing is that scrambling really allows tofu to do what tofu does best – soak up other flavours.

So today I’m sharing my scrambled tofu with tomato & peppers that is so meaty and delicious, I’m convinced it’s the secret to turning even the most hardened carnivore. I’m not suggesting it will convince someone to give up meat forever, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be happy to agree to a meat free dinner every now and then.

scrambled tofu with tomato & peppers from jules clancy on vimeo.

scrambled tofu

[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
scrambled tofu with tomato & peppers

serves 2

While I love delicate, silken tofu in my miso soup, firm tofu is my preferred option for cooking with. I find the best firm tofu is the one that feels the firmest in the packet, so go ahead and have a little squeeze in the supermarket.

Feel free to spice this up with a little fresh or dried chilli. With a little extra tomato paste, I’m thinking it would make a wonderful sauce for pasta.

In the photo I’ve served it with the leaves on the side, but I think it actually looks prettier serving the scrambled tofu on top of a bed of leaves.

1/2 jar red peppers (about 150g / 5oz), drained
300g (10oz) firm tofu, drained and crumbled into chunks
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons smoky paprika
green leaves, to serve

1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan (skillet).

2. Add peppers and stir for a few seconds. Add tofu and stir fry, breaking it up further with a fork or spoon. Cook for a few minutes.

3. Add tomato paste and paprika. Continue to cook and stir for a few more minutes until everything is hot and the tofu is well scrambled.

4. Taste and Season. Serve on a bed of greens.

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{ 21 comments }

Emma September 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

This post really resonated with me, I’m not vegetarian but I eat a lot of vegie meals if you know what I mean, I don’t eat a lot of meat. And I love tofu but I usually have to cook it for myself because my fiance, who will eat my vegie meals happily, isn’t at all keen on trying tofu.

I will have to try this one I think, looks spicy and tasty.

Hannah September 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Oooh, I’ve been meaning to try scrambled tofu for yonks (at least a year… honestly) but have been unable because every recipe seems to use nutritional yeast, which I don’t have. Now you come along with this piece of magnificence? Hurrah! Particularly seeing as my favourite spice right now is smoked paprika. Thank you do much!

Wei-Wei September 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I like really firm tofu cubed up and sauteed with chili peppers, chili oil, and some browned ground beef. Of course that sort of defeats the purpose of it being vegetarian, but non-vegetarians all eat tofu here in China! Mmm. Lovely.

Michelle September 16, 2010 at 10:13 pm

YAY. I’m a vegetarian and so excited to see some yummy veggie recipes! :)
I usually make my scrambled tofu with turmeric, paprika, and scallions, but this looks delicious and I think next time I’ll try it your way!

Jet Moore September 17, 2010 at 12:26 am

Love the recipe. Do you blot out the excess moisture? Here in the states ours is packed in water which, of not blotted out, affects the recipe.

Stephanie September 17, 2010 at 12:37 am

yummy! i’ve been cooking with tofu for years, and always love new recipes! now that fall is setting in and the cravings for hearty foods have begun, i’ll definitely be making this dish. cheers!

jules September 17, 2010 at 7:30 am

wei-wei
I’d forgotten about the tofu with ground beef or pork – I’ve eaten it once and really loved it – I think it ‘s a brilliant way to make your meat go a little further. We could all learn from that.

Jet
Thanks for pointing that out. I just drained the excess water. For this recipe as you’re not trying to brown the tofu, there’s no need for blotting.

paul September 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

clance, loving the videos! better than a boring old recipe if you ask me.
does vimeo let you choose the still image that’s displayed in the player? cos that ones a shocker ;-)

Lynne September 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Your timing is impeccable. I converted to vegetarianism almost 3 months ago, and have been putting off trying tofu as I had no idea really what to do with it, despite the many recipes out there.

Thanks to a video tutorial I watched yesterday showing exactly how to squeeze out the water etc, I went out today and bought my very first block of tofu.

And, right on cue, you post a tofu recipe for me. Your psychic talents equal your culinary talents in my book :-)

Anke September 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hey Jules,
Love your blog and your approach to cooking, as I am not a fan of lists of ingredients and complicated instructions!!
I think you meant to say “… that carnivores WILL love”, didn’t you? ;)
Keep up the good work!
Greetings from Germany
Anke :)

jules September 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

anke
you are an angel – can’t believe I had a typo in my title and didn’t pick it up – thanks for noticing

lynne
hope you enjoy tofu as much as I am

paul
I haven’t figured that out yet – definitely need to look into it. I know – they all seem to be pretty shocking

Majeeda September 17, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Your opening sentence really made me laugh – tofu seems to be one of those foods where those who don’t like it ‘really’ don’t like it. This looks great Jules. I actually like tofu…as you say it’s great for soaking up the flavour you put it with. Even cooked very simply with a little garlic and orange juice it’s nice.

Nic September 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I’ve just discovered your blog and am loving it! It’s totally changed the way we eat over the last few weeks. The simple instructions have given me the confidence
to cook with some foods I hadn’t tried before. I never thought to eat canned butter beans, but I love making your butter bean & tuna salad. Tofu has been one of those things I’ve eaten when other people cook it, but never had much success cooking it myself. Any suggestions for the greens to go with it? What pairs well with tofu?

Brandon September 20, 2010 at 3:45 am

Jules,

I’ve been reading your blog now for about a year and I love it! I’ve tried some of your recipes and they’ve turned out great.

I have a question. How do you shop? What staples do you always keep in stock? This is always a problem for me and leads me to eat out as I don’t have anything that really goes together. What does your shopping list look like?

Brandon

Pam @ Best Cookware Set September 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I am vegetarian, so we eat tofu often, my husband does not used to like it. Problem was I was not marinating right way and long enough for tofu to absorb the flavors, now that mistake is corrected and tofu is tasty meals for us and our meat loving friends too.

SarahP September 21, 2010 at 8:13 am

I absolutely adore scrambled tofu, and this looks like a wonderful variation on my usual, which I stole shamelessly from the vegetarian/vegan cafe Badde Manors in Glebe. I think it’s changed a little now but when I was first going there 10 years ago as a self-righteous teenager, it was scrambled with onions, garlic, green capsicum and grated carrot, with turmeric added for colour. That, and a soy latte, was pretty much the ultimate breakfast.

Shelley September 22, 2010 at 3:20 am

Ooh, looks good. I’m anxious to try this for my carnivorous husband as see what he thinks. I won’t tell him before he tries it. hee hee.

Stefanie October 1, 2010 at 9:52 am

I’m so thrilled! I just made this for dinner and added red pepper flakes and Tabasco, mostly because I’m addicted to both.

Served it on top of my favorite crispy baked polenta.

Karyn October 8, 2010 at 5:37 am

Delicious!! Made this last night and instantly wished that I’d made a double batch! I added hot pepper sauce to make it nice and spicy – yum yum!

Jimmy July 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I use these recipes (and this one in particular) a lot and am quite thankful for these posts! Keep em coming!

Janis May 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

Just made this tonite. It was delicious! I steamed some spinach and put the tofu on top and served it along side some brown rice. I also added some ground chili peppers as well.

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