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Tofu scramble was the first vegan dish I learned to make, which has given it a somewhat special place in my heart. Over time, I’ve watched the dish evolve from being a vegan specialty—the go to alternative to scrambled eggs—to something more mainstream, popular enough that folks who are simply trying to find more ways to enjoy tofu, or to reduce meat consumption, or to find an alternative to eggs, might enjoy it on the regular.
I love it as much now as I did the first time I tried it, and I especially love that nowadays I have the option of using a prepared scramble, which makes it easy to incorporate the dish into all sorts of creative breakfast recipes. There’s so much to like about tofu scramble: the textural contrast of tender tofu and crisp veggies, the fact that it’s inexpensive and nutritious, or the endless variety of what can be done with it.
When I first started making tofu scramble, I nearly always served it over toast. I still serve it that way (or in a wrap) often, but over time I’ve branched out, and I’ve come to appreciate that tofu scramble doesn’t have to be confined to traditional breakfast accompaniments. One of my favorite ways to transform the simple scramble into a whole meal is to pair it with a cooked whole grain. Sometimes I do this by serving it side-by-side with quinoa pilaf or brown rice, but it can be even more satisfying to fold the grain into the warm scramble itself, while everything is hot in the skillet, so that the ingredients can mingle. Tofu scramble and fried rice shake hands, and dinner is served.
This is my go to recipe for tofu scramble fried rice. It’s simple and unfussy, nourishing and fast. I tend to have cooked rice sitting in my fridge at any given moment, which makes the preparation particularly quick. If you don’t have rice, you can use pretty much any cooked grain—quinoa, millet, farro, couscous, bulgur wheat—instead. You also can and should start to play around with the vegetable additions and seasonings, depending on what’s in season and what you have at home.
Once the scramble is defrosted, you can simply add it to warm vegetables and the grain. I like to top the dish with a squeeze of Sriracha, a little lime juice, and some chopped scallions, but you can feel free to add toasted nuts, nutritional yeast, or my smoky tempeh strips, which add even more protein and flavor to an already satisfying meal.
- 1 tablespoon peanut or sesame oil (or another vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
- 1/2 cup peeled and diced carrot
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 9 ounces package frozen tofu scramble, thawed (or 2 cups homemade)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 green onion or scallion, tops only, chopped