For newbie vegans, one of the hardest things to give up is eggs. Personally, I used to eat scrambled eggs or an omelette for breakfast 3 to 4 days a week, so my overnight transition to veganism left me a little nervous about savory breakfast options. Not to mention, I had tried many tofu scramble recipes that made me feel like, well, I was eating at a hippie commune from the 1970s.
While I don’t crave eggs anymore, I do enjoy a good eggy tofu scramble these days. And if you do too or even miss the taste of eggs, you must try this tofu scramble. It looks and tastes remarkably like scrambled eggs but is 100% plant-based. It’s also hearty and packed with protein, so it’ll keep you satiated for hours.
And since it’s so simple to make, it’s a fabulous option for weekday mornings alongside some toast and fruit. But for a particularly epic breakfast or weekend brunch, use this tofu scramble in my incredible Vegan Breakfast Burritos.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Quick and easy to prepare
Looking for a hearty and savory breakfast that requires minimal time and effort? Well, of course you are! This tofu scramble is the perfect choice.
Packed with flavor
While this recipe is simple, the flavors are not. Tofu is cooked in a spiced tahini + plant-based milk sauce that’s loaded with flavor (garlic and onion powder, turmeric, paprika, chipotle chilies, nutritional yeast, and kala namak).
Unlike many tofu scramble recipes that are dry and bland, you’ll be delighted by just how closely this recipe mimics the eggy taste and creamy, fluffy texture of scrambled eggs. First, the texture of firm tofu enables the scramble to get a little browned on the outside but stay soft and fluffy on the inside. Next, the tofu is coated in a creamy sauce that gives it an unbelievably eggy flavor and consistency.
Hearty and healthy alternative to scrambled eggs
This tofu scramble is chock-full of protein (15 grams per serving; 3 total servings), plus, it has none of the cholesterol found in eggs.
Why this tofu scramble recipe works
Firm tofu mimics the texture of scrambled eggs brilliantly. When you pan-fry firm tofu, it becomes lightly golden on the outside, while remaining soft and pillowy on the inside.
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. Little FYI for ya: when you first add it to the sauce, it emits a very pungent, sulphurous odor. But, not to worry, the smell dissipates fairly quickly (and I promise your finished dish will taste and smell delicious).
Spiced eggy sauce
Many vegan scramble recipes result in a pile of crumbly, dry tofu (so sad!) because the water gets cooked out on the stove and no additional liquid is added. They feel very different than traditional scrambled eggs, which are creamy, soft, and high in fat (and even more so when cooked in butter and milk/cream).
To mimic that high-fat content and rich, creamy consistency of scrambled eggs in a healthier plant-based way, this recipe coats the tofu in a spiced eggy sauce featuring tahini and plant-based milk.
How to make eggy tofu scramble
Drain the tofu, then press for 15 minutes. Crumble the tofu with your hands into chunks.
Make the spiced eggy sauce: whisk together the spices, tahini, nutritional yeast, and plant milk.
Heat oil in a nonstick frying pan. Once hot, add the tofu. Let cook undisturbed for 1 or 2 minutes, then toss occasionally, and cook for a total of 5 to 7 minutes until the outside is lightly golden.
Pour the sauce over the tofu and use a silicone spatula to make sure that it fully covers the tofu and gets into every little crevice. Cook down for a few minutes until you reach your desired consistency.
Tips for making this tofu scramble
Press the tofu
Yes, it’s an extra step, but it’s really worth it. Tofu is very watery, and water-logged tofu doesn’t absorb other flavors well. Hi, bland scramble. If you want to make this recipe as quickly as possible in the morning, press your tofu the night before and store it in the fridge.
Don’t overcrowd your pan
To ensure that nice golden coating on the tofu, use a large non-stick pan (12-inch). That way, you can spread the tofu out into a single layer. Crowding the pan results in steamed tofu. 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. First, allow the tofu to cook undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to develop a beautiful, light golden-brown color, then begin stirring lightly for the remainder of the cooking time.
Add a final dash of kala namak
Although there is ½ teaspoon already in the sauce, kala namak loses its potency as it cooks. I like to add a couple of dashes of it on top, right before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
If it’s the weekend, PLEASE make these Vegan Breakfast Burritos. These burritos combine the eggy tofu scramble with vegan queso sauce, pico de gallo, crispy roasted potatoes, and creamy avocado to yield a legit fire brunch that will please everyone.
For another very hearty option that comes together much more quickly, serve the tofu scramble on top of toasted bread with smashed avocado (with lemon juice + sea salt) and a few drops of hot sauce.
This tofu scramble would also work wonderfully as part of a larger brunch spread that includes my Pumpkin Sheet Pancakes or my Simple Vegan French Toast. Round out this decadent breakfast feast by whipping up either my Creamy Vegan Protein Mocha Latte or my Sweet and Spicy Almond Butter Date Latte.
Sure, why not! Before pan frying the tofu, sauté a handful of your favorite veggies 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.
Some great veggie options to sauté include sliced mushrooms, fresh kale or baby spinach, thin strips of bell pepper, diced tomatoes, sliced or diced onions/shallots, and sliced scallions. And a little garlic tossed into the mix never hurt anyone ;)
The scrambled tofu should be stored in an air-tight container and can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Leftovers reheat well in the microwave. If you want to add back the slight crispiness the outside of the tofu had when freshly prepared, reheat the scramble for a couple of minutes in a non-stick pan with a touch of oil.
I prefer firm tofu because it has a softer texture that better mimics that of scrambled eggs. But if all you have is extra-firm tofu, it works well too. Since it has lower water content, you can press it for just 5 to 10 minutes.
If you don’t have kala namak (Indian black salt), use kosher salt or sea salt instead. Your tofu scramble will lack that characteristic eggy flavor though.
You can find kala namak in South Asian grocery stores, as well as online retailers like Amazon. It’s a great addition to your spice rack because it not only lends that classic eggy taste to vegan egg recipes, but it’s also used in several Indian dishes like chutneys and spicy pickles. More ideas for black salt here.
That’s all you need to make this eggy tofu scramble! Hope it becomes a go-to in your breakfast routine and if you love it, please rate and review the recipe below!
- 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 to taste
- 1 generous tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ cup plant-based milk of choice, such as oat, cashew, or almond
- 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 clean 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.
- 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 your scramble on the dry side, cook for a few minutes. If you prefer it on the wet side, cook for just 30-60 seconds (I prefer slightly drier for a breakfast burrito).
- 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.