September 15, 2012
If you’ve been vegetarian for a while, you’re probably like me. You’ve eaten a lot of tofu scrambles; some good and some less than great. Ok, some are downright horrible.
The worst ones are boring, bland, mushy, and total dullsville. Since tofu has essentially no flavor of it’s own – that’s why we can easily transform it into Kung Pao or chocolate cream pie with a flick of the wrist – you have to ADD goodies to it to get awesomeness.
In my opinion, the best tofu scrambles are spicy and flavorful with a little veg thrown in and a nice firm texture with some crispy bits. That’s what I was going for with this recipe, and I think I made myself pretty happy.
I should probably call this a tofu saute rather than a scramble since I kept the cubes pretty chunky and didn’t break them up much. I’m mostly calling this delicious though. It’s not only the best tofu scramble/saute I’ve ever made, it’s the best one I’ve eaten. Here’s how you make it.
Hatch Chile Tofu Scramble with Spinach and Avocado
1/2 cup mild hatch chiles, roasted, cleaned, and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 package firm tofu, diced chunky
3 Tblsp water
1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Penzeys Forward Seasoning
1 Tblsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup baby spinach, very firmly packed and roughly chopped
2 Tblsp chives
1 large avocado, diced
Olive oil as needed for sauteing
In a large non-stick skillet, saute the chiles and garlic in 2 tblsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper while they’re softening. Remove from the skillet and set aside while you prepare the tofu.
Add another bit of olive oil to the same pan, and add the chunky cubes of tofu. Arrange them in one layer so that all of the cubes are in contact with the pan. Toss them around every few minutes to get a golden color on all sides. This may take 10 to 15 minutes.
While the tofu is browning, mix your wet sauce ingredients together in a small bowl: the water, Braggs, onion powder, Forward Seasoning and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.
Once the tofu is evenly browned to your liking, add the chiles and garlic back in, sprinkle in the sauce, and stir to distribute evenly. Add in the nutritional yeast and the spinach, and mix together.
Cook over medium low heat until the spinach is wilted and the sauce is absorbed into the tofu. The sauce, yeast and chiles meld together to make the most incredible coating that I wish I had more of.
Add the chives and serve immediately with the diced avocado and a tiny touch of salt on top. Serves 3 or 4.
- Hatch chiles are available for a short period of time at the end of the summer, so if you don’t have a stash in your freezer, don’t despair. The Hatch flavor is amazing, but there are acceptable substitutes. I would probably add in a jar of diced green chiles from the mexican aisle in the grocery store, along with a finely diced jalapeno or two. Just add any chile you like. Chipotles would be good too, and you can find them on the same aisle packed in a jar with adobo sauce. Just be careful and start with a tiny amount, since these dudes can be super hot.
- I used Trader Joe’s super firm tofu, and froze it and defrosted it to get a firmer texture. If you like more of a scramble, just skip the freezing/defrosting step and use a firm tofu. Break it up a little bit as it’s cooking.
- I like the flavor of Braggs, but you can easily substitute tamari, soy sauce or plain ol’ sea salt.
- Add in any other veggies that you like. I think that onion, asparagus, broccoli, kale and mushrooms are all super happy in a tofu scramble.
- Penzeys Forward Seasoning is amazing (and salt-free), but don’t fret if you don’t have it. It’s a spicy little blend of black pepper, onion, paprika, garlic, turmeric, thyme, basil and rosemary. Just substitute what you like. Pepper, paprika, turmeric and thyme would be a good start. Cumin is also found in lots of tofu scrambles; I’m just not a huge fan, but you use what you like. It’s your dish! Make it delicious and make it your own!
Note from LilSis:
I think this looks scrumptious and I would definitely make it for myself, but unfortunately, if I tried to serve this to my meat and potato lovin’ guys as a meal; they would probably laugh, thinking it was a practical joke!