28 March 2011

Tofu Scramble

In The New and Now Zen cookbook (did I get that name right?) the author suggests that one use regular (not firm) tofu to make tofu scramble, because the texture of well made scrambled eggs is soft, and not firm. I gave it a shot this morning, using some ideas from her first book, which detailed Japanese recipes. In it, she had you use a good fair bit of vegetables, so that each pound of tofu is stretched much further than when you make regular tofu scramble.

Let me just say that it came out fantastic. I didn't have nutritional yeast, and I don't like the colour that soy sauce makes my scramble, so I left both out. However, I did use scallions (about 3 stalks), carrots (3 medium), a courgette (small one from which I already took a couple of thin slices for a sandwich last night), turmeric, garlic powder, and salt. I let the carrot and scallion cook in oil until it was soft. Then, I piled up the veg to one side of my skillet, and added another teaspoon or so of oil. I dropped the whole cubes of 1 lb of soft tofu into the skillet. This is tofu that Steve picked up from Chinatown on Sunday. They sell both firm and soft tofu.

Their version of soft tofu is not like that which you'd find commercially. Instead, it's kind of firm, but silkier than firm tofu. Very lovely stuff. I generally don't buy it, because the firm does everything that I want it to, but they ran out of the firm, so Steve bought one of the soft. I added the turmeric and salt.

Anyway. Once the tofus were in the pan (in Chinatown, the tofus are made in ⅓ pound increments, for whatever reason), I let them sear a bit for about a minute. Then I seared off the other sides for about 30 seconds each. I wanted to evaporate a bit of the excess liquid. Then, as I stirred it with my wooden spoon, the tofu broke up into chunks on its own. That's the other bonus of using soft tofu. You don't need to mash it ahead of time, and make your hand feel frozen.

I let the veg and tofu cook together for a good five minutes or so, so that the excess liquid would evaporate, and the tofu would break up a bit more. Essentially, I wanted it to get to the point where it gets a little watery, then cross over to the other side, where it dries out a bit. I wanted a bit of moistness in the scramble, but not so much that there's liquid that'd pool on my plate. Your stove may require more or less time.

At the last 3 minutes of cooking, I added the courgette. It came out fantastic. We ate it with garlic toast.