Easy Garlic Spinach Tofu Scramble
We had been working on our tofu scramble for years! Until we finally nailed it.
The first suggestion we ever got about making a tofu scramble was from our friend Jenn in Portland who was a long time vegan and told us to use Twin Oaks tofu and turmeric. That brand of tofu is impossible to find in NYC so instead we use a variety of brands of tofu but always extra firm. In the beginning it was a bit of a kitchen sink scramble or frittata. We’d throw everything in that we could get our hands on such as spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, jalapeños and mock meats and cheeses. During the pandemic, however, we were stuck inside with limited ingredients like tofu, garlic and spinach so decided to give it a paired down version a shot. When we did we felt like we really unlocked a really special recipe and have made it this way ever since.
I absolutely love the flavor and texture of this tofu scramble, it reminds so much of scrambled eggs. But to be clear, the version I make does not taste or feel exactly like scrambled eggs. For instance, I don’t use Kala Namak salt that mimics the sulfuric smell and flavor of real eggs. I’ve tried using it before and it doesn’t add much to this already delicious recipe. But you can absolutely give it a shot. Also, we use extra firm tofu and it holds up really well and doesn’t emit too much liquid, but it doesn’t have the exact same texture as a runny scrambled egg. That said, I highly recommend you give this recipe a chance because it’s pretty easy, simple, high in protein and unbelievably tasty.
One note about this recipe is that I do not measure most ingredients and rather add to taste or for visuals. I know it can be frustrating to read a recipe like this but it is such a simple recipe I personally think that it will make sense as you go.
Here are the ingredients: tofu, olive oil, salt, black pepper, turmeric, garlic, spinach. And you can garnish with a pretty green like rosemary.👇
Step 1: First you take a ton of garlic, I honestly take about 8-12 cloves, and mince them.
Step 2: Meanwhile press and crumble the tofu. To crumble, break off small pieces from the block and twirl them between your fingers to get a ton of very small flowing chunks.
Step 3: Pour olive oil on the pan and cook the garlic on medium low heat until it’s translucent but not browned.
Step 4: Add the tofu crumbles to the garlic, change the temp to medium high and stir.
Cook for a few minutes and add turmeric stirring constantly.
Your goal here is to turn the tofu to the color of scrambled eggs. But you also don’t want to overdo the turmeric. I usually shake a bunch of gentle sprinkles until I achieve a color I like after it’s fully mixed. Be careful not to dump the turmeric over the tofu and to go slowly with adding it because too much of the spice will make the tofu mixture taste too much like turmeric and won’t resemble eggs.
If you haven’t used turmeric in this way before. The turmeric looks orange/brown but once mixed in it will turn the tofu and everything else yellow. I usually stop when it’s a bright yellow color but not too orange or dark. We’re trying to emulate the color of an egg white and egg yolk.
Step 5: Add salt and pepper to taste. The key here is to add not too much salt so it’s inedible but enough salt so that it doesn’t taste bland. I add a fair bit and then usually when I think I’ve added enough but am not sure I add more and I’m really there.
Step 6: Once the tofu has cooked for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to get a little firmer and a little more brown than it is at the beginning you can add the spinach. The spinach takes a few minutes to cook down.
Above, you can see how the spinach starts off by potentially spilling over the pan but as you mix it in the tofu and it gets hot the spinach cooks down a lot.
Once the tofu has cooked you can serve it with a garnish, I love to use rosemary or chives and we love to eat it with buttery toast and an olive oil drizzled salad.
Serve the tofu scramble with a beautiful garnish.
I will usually bring the pot to the table and dish the scramble out from there.
Eating the scramble alongside or on top of a piece of well buttered toast is delicious.
This is one of the few recipes I perfected without reading another recipe though due to its simplicity I’m sure there are others out there like it. The beauty of the recipe is the oil garlic and salt coat the tofu and give it a beautifully tasty flavor. If you try this tofu scramble, let me know what you think!
Easy Garlic Tofu Scramble
- 1 large or medium sized pan
- 2 tofu pressers If you have them! If not you can either forgo the pressing or place between plates and top with a heavy object.
- 1 Knife
- 2 containers extra firm tofu (any brand will do.)
- 8-12 cloves garlic (amount depends on your taste buds. I'm a garlic girl but if you're not a huge fan 2-4 cloves would work.)
- a few shakes turmeric (add gently, stir and repeat until the color looks like scrambled eggs.)
- 4 tbsp olive oil (2 initially for the pan, the extra 2 are optional and can be applied throughout cooking if the mixture is feeling dry.)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 3 cups spinach ([optional] If you buy a tub or a bag of spinach you can throw in the whole thing.)
- fresh herbs for garnish like rosemary or chives
- Press the tofu for 30 minutes to 2 hours in the fridge.
- Crumble the tofu. To do this, break off chunks from the tofu block and pinch the edges repeatedly between your fingers to get very small pieces.
- Mince the garlic.
- Pour olive oil on the pan and cook the garlic on medium low stirring constantly for a few minutes or so until it's translucent but not browned.
- Add the tofu crumbles to the pan, change the temperature to medium high and stir.
- Add turmeric lightly, stir well, take note of the color and repeat this process over and over. Your goal here is to turn the tofu to the color of scrambled eggs but you also don't want to overdo the turmeric. Once you achieve a color you like you have added enough. Note: be careful not to dump the turmeric over the tofu and instead to go slowly with adding it because too much of the spice will make the tofu mixture look and taste too strong.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. I end up using a fair bit of salt and it's a strong component of the dish but you don't want to over-salt. So to do this I shake it in slowly, taste and repeat because without enough salt the tofu can taste bland.
- Cook the tofu while stirring constantly. Once the tofu has cooked for about 7-12 minutes you can add the spinach. I usually add the spinach when the tofu starts going from a softer to firmer texture but isn't overcooked. Stir the spinach in with the mixture constantly until it's cooked down.
- Serve it with a garnish, buttery toast and a little salad.
Here are some pictures of different times we’ve made the tofu! It might come out a slightly different salt level, garlic level and color each time but every time it’s absolutely delicious!!