Tofu Scramble With Salsa Cruda. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington PostThe more you cook with it, the more you realize: Tofu really is the great kitchen chameleon. It can stand on its own - and taste like itself - in a simple, sublime dish of chilled tofu with a spicy topping. Dusted with cornstarch, fried and coated in a peppery-sweet sauce, it can approximate mushrooms or even beef in a hot pot. Crumbled and mixed with chilies, vinegar, garlic and more, it becomes a ringer for fresh pork chorizo.
I had long been skeptical, though, of its ability to play the part of eggs - you know, in a "scramble." I couldn't imagine that its texture could truly compete with that of soft curds, particularly when eggs are cooked slowly. So I avoided those recipes.
I shouldn't have. A recipe in Andrew Weil's latest book, "Fast Food, Good Food," seemed worth trying, perhaps because he calls for the scramble to be combined with a fresh and chunky salsa, avocados and tortillas - one of my favorite ways to eat eggs. But there is more wisdom buried in this recipe: Turmeric adds that appealing golden color, offset by a little diced red bell pepper, and a combination of cumin and a little cayenne gives the scramble an earthy flavor.
I was right on one count: The texture didn't remind me of eggs (at least not properly cooked ones). But once I stopped thinking about it that way and let the tofu be tofu, I found it just plain delicious.
Tofu Scramble With Salsa Cruda
Andrew Weil, the physician and healthful-lifestyle coach who developed the recipe, advocates letting pressed garlic sit for at least 10 minutes before adding it to a dish. That allows allicin, the compound responsible for garlic's health benefits, to form.
MAKE AHEAD: The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Adapted from "Fast Food, Good Food: More Than 150 Quick and Easy Ways to Put Healthy, Delicious Food on the Table," by Weil (Little, Brown, 2015).
For the salsa -
1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
For the tofu scramble
4 corn tortillas, for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced
3 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, run through a garlic press and allowed to sit for 10 minutes (see headnote)
16 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled into small pieces
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Flesh of 1 avocado, thinly sliced, for serving (optional)
For the salsa: Combine the cilantro, tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno and lime juice in a medium bowl, stirring until thoroughly blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the tofu scramble: If you plan to serve it with tortillas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet; bake for 5 minutes or just until warmed through. (Alternatively, you can wrap the tortillas in a clean dish towel and microwave on LOW for 45 seconds.)
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion and diced red bell pepper; cook until the onion is starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pressed garlic; cook for 30 seconds, then add the crumbled tofu, turmeric, cumin, sea salt and cayenne pepper, stirring to distribute the spices; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is starting to brown.
Serve the scramble right away, with the salsa and the warm tortillas and avocado, if using.
Nutrition | Per serving: 190 calories, 11 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 550 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar