I have been around the block when it comes to vegan breakfast recipes. But this Tofu Scramble? There’s no competition. It’s the best!
It resembles the creamy and soft scrambled eggs you may miss, but it’s also flavor-forward and packed with plant-based protein (15g per serving!).
This recipe is super easy to make and flexible, too. It’s made entirely in one pan, saving you time during clean up, making it the perfect weekday vegan breakfast.
Go ahead and customize the spices, add vegetables to the scramble, or make it a part of these epic vegan breakfast burritos on the weekend.
Table of Contents:
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step by step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently Asked Questions
6. Recipe card with notes
Why this recipe works
A creamy, rich, and soft texture…
If you’ve ever had a tofu scramble that was a dry pile of crumbly tofu or a hot wet mess, then I have good news for you: my version has the soft, creamy, and spongy texture of real scrambled eggs.
It’s all thanks to firm tofu and my creamy sauce. Most tofu scrambles rely on just tofu, but if you want the consistency of fat-rich scrambled eggs (often cooked with butter and sometimes milk or cream), you have to add in some plant-based fat!
Here, the eggy sauce contains tahini and full-fat oat milk and is poured over the pan-fried tofu, giving it a decadent consistency usually reserved for real scrambled eggs.
…Plus, the right eggy flavor
If you’ve ever tried my Chipotle Sofritas or tofu tikka masala recipes, or are already a tofu-connoisseur who’s tried the best tofu recipes, then you know how well tofu soaks up flavor.
This recipe uses a variety of spices, including garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, and paprika, to jam-pack every bite with incredible savory notes and dynamic flavors.
But the star ingredient just might be kala namak. Also known as Indian black salt or Himalayan black salt, kala namak brings that distinctive umami-rich, egg-like flavor, similar to the yolk of a hard-boiled egg.
It’s not a super well-known ingredient, so I’ve added more details in the Ingredients section about how to use it and where to buy it.
This is one of those recipes you can use in a thousand ways. Swap the seasonings for an Indian or Mexican spice mix instead, stir in a little hot sauce for heat, stir in some vegetables…the list goes on!
And serve it however you like! This recipe is packed with plant-based protein, so it’s a fantastic add-in to breakfast burritos, tacos, breakfast bowls, etc. Don’t feel like you’re limited to breakfast—a scramble this good is always welcome at the lunch or dinner table.
Firm tofu. In my many tests, I found that firm tofu mimics the texture of real scrambled eggs brilliantly. When you pan-fry firm tofu, it becomes lightly golden on the outside, while remaining soft and pillowy on the inside.
Substitute: If you can’t find firm tofu, use extra firm tofu. It contains even less water, so to avoid a rubbery scramble, only press it for about 5 minutes. If you like a very soft scramble, you can use soft tofu (but not silken tofu).
Kala namak. AKA Indian black salt or Himalayan black salt, a volcanic, kiln-fired salt. THIS is what you want in your tofu scramble for a realistic flavor. Beginners, beware it does smell of sulfur, but don’t worry, it goes away after cooking. Once added to the scramble, it deepens and uplifts every bite with eggy, umami-rich flavors.
I highly recommend adding kala namak to your spice rack! It’s the best for vegan egg recipes, as well as Indian dishes like chutneys and spicy pickles.
Where to buy: Find it at South Asian grocery stores or online retailers like Amazon (affiliate link). For more ideas on how to use it, check out this article by Fine Dining Lovers.
Substitute: If you don’t have kala namak, your scramble will lack that characteristic eggy flavor but you can use kosher salt or sea salt to season.
Scramble seasonings. In addition to black salt, a mix of ground turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and chipotle chile flakes (crushed chipotle chilies) gives the scrambled tofu its savory flavors. The turmeric and paprika are especially important for the signature, egg-like yellow color.
Tip: The chile flakes add mild heat, but if you’re very sensitive to spice, omit them.
Tahini + dairy-free milk. A mix of tahini and full-fat oat milk is the base of the eggy sauce. Together, they give the tofu a remarkably creamy and rich consistency similar to what you’d find in scrambled eggs (but in a wholesome, plant-based way).
Substitute: If you don’t have oat milk, another creamy milk like soy milk or cashew milk will work.
Black pepper. Not only a great addition for flavor, but the piperine compound in black pepper is what helps us absorb the good stuff in the turmeric (e.g., its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties).
Drain the tofu and wrap it in a thin dish towel. Add something heavy on top, like a cookbook weighted by a cast iron skillet. Press for 15 minutes to release a lot of water.
Work on the eggy sauce next. Whisk the spices, kala namak, tahini, and nutritional yeast together. Slowly pour in the milk while continuously whisking, until you have a creamy golden sauce.
Use your hands to crumble the tofu into chunks. Make sure they aren’t too big or too small… medium bite-sized chunks are just right.
Brown the tofu. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the tofu and fry until the pieces are lightly golden.
Pour in the eggy sauce and stir to coat. Keep frying until the scramble reaches the texture you want (less time = more saucy, more time = drier scramble).
Season and finish. Add a few shakes of kala namak to the scramble for enhanced eggy flavor.
Add kosher or sea salt to taste and more kala namak as needed, then enjoy.
Tips for making the best tofu scramble
Don’t overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding will result in steaming. I recommend using a large non-stick pan (12-inch) so there’s enough room to fry the tofu and achieve a gorgeous golden crust. If you don’t own a 12-inch pan, divide the tofu in half and cook it in two batches.
Another strategy to help brown the tofu: Don’t stir it constantly. Leave the chunks undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes first, then begin stirring lightly for the remainder of the cooking time.
Don’t skip the kala namak. Kala namak is a genuine game changer. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to making tofu scramble the same way again.
While the eggy sauce contains ½ teaspoon already, kala namak loses some potency as it cooks, so add a couple of dashes on top, right before serving.
Note: when you first add kala namak to the sauce, it emits a very pungent, sulfurous odor. But, not to worry, the smell dissipates fairly quickly (and I promise your finished dish will taste and smell delicious).
Add vegetables if you’d like. The beauty of this simple tofu scramble recipe is that it’s also flexible and plant-forward.
Before pan frying the tofu, sauté a handful of your favorite veggies in the pan and then set them aside. If you cook the tofu and veggies simultaneously in the pan, it will be too crowded and the tofu will steam instead of fry.
Or, for something super quick, after you add the eggy sauce, fold in a couple of handfuls of finely chopped baby spinach or baby kale. It’ll wilt quickly and tastes great.
How to serve Tofu Scramble
- If it’s the weekend, PLEASE make these vegan breakfast burritos. Once the scramble gets together with the vegan queso, pico de gallo, crispy roasted potatoes, and creamy avocado, all bets are off. It’s a legit fire brunch that will please everyone.
- Wrap the scramble up in tortillas for a simple breakfast wrap. Don’t forget the spicy vegan aioli for dipping!
- Pile the scramble on toasted bread with avocado smashed with lemon juice + sea salt + chili flakes.
- Serve it next to roasted breakfast potatoes, sliced tomatoes, vegan breakfast sausages, and toast with vegan butter.
- This tofu scramble would also work wonderfully as part of a larger brunch spread that includes vegan pancakes or vegan blueberry muffins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Firm tofu is the best option. When fried, it becomes crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s the secret to a realistic, egg-like scramble recipe!
But if all you have is extra-firm tofu, that works fine. Since it has lower water content, you can gently squeeze out the water with your hands instead of pressing it (or press for just 5 minutes).
For firm tofu, yes. It’s very watery, and water-logged tofu doesn’t absorb other flavors well (hi, bland scramble). If you want to make this recipe more quickly in the morning, press your tofu the night before and store it in the fridge.
Some great veggie options to sauté include sliced mushrooms, finely chopped kale or baby spinach, chopped broccoli florets, thin strips of bell pepper, and diced tomatoes.
If adding finely chopped soft greens, you can add them after you add the eggy sauce until wilted. For other vegetables, I recommend sautéing them separately or beforehand, then folding them into the finished scramble.
And to start this recipe with a delicious baseline of flavor, sauté sliced or diced onions/shallots/scallions in the skillet. A little garlic tossed in afterward never hurt anyone, either.
The scrambled tofu should be stored in an airtight container and can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Watch! How to make Tofu Scramble
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Seriously The Best Tofu Scramble
- 1 14- or 16-ounce (400/454g) block of firm tofu*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chile flakes (crushed chipotle chilies)
- ½ teaspoon kala namak (AKA Indian black salt), plus more to finish**
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 generous tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ cup (120 mL) full-fat oat milk, (or other creamy plant milk)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil of choice
- Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
- Drain the tofu. Line a cutting board with a few layers of paper towels or a thin dish towel. Place the tofu on top, then weigh it down with a heavy cookbook, or a large plate weighed down by a few cans of beans. Press the tofu for 15 minutes.
- Make the eggy sauce. In a bowl, whisk together the turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chipotle, kala namak, tahini, and nutritional yeast. Pour in the milk gradually and whisk until you have a nice sauce.
- Crumble the pressed tofu with your hands into chunks, not too big or too small (see photos in step-by-step instructions for the size).
- Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat with the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu to the pan, and fry until it’s lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir occasionally but not too often to allow the exterior to get lightly browned. Break up any large chunks of tofu with your spatula but don’t break it up too finely.
- Add the eggy sauce and fold to combine, using a silicone spatula to coat each piece of tofu with the sauce. Continue frying the tofu until you reach your desired texture and consistency.***If you prefer scramble on the dry side, cook for a few minutes. If you prefer it on the wet side, cook for just 30-60 seconds.
- Finish the scramble with a few shakes of kala namak. Taste, and add a pinch of kosher salt or sea salt as needed. Reheat leftovers in a frying pan or in the microwave.
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