Why You Should Avoid Over-Pressing Tofu Before Scrambling

Along with overnight oats, tofu scrambles are a simple, go-to vegan breakfast item. Crumbled and mixed with everything from peppers and onions to vegan cheese and plant-based sausage, as long as you season your tofu with turmeric for that yellow hue and some form of umami, you can hardly go wrong. That is, until you do. While it may pass once it's on your plate in front of you, the reality is that tofu and eggs have very few things in common — you don't have to press your eggs before you scramble them, for one. But is it possible to over-press your tofu? In the case of your tofu scramble, yes.

In most cases, pressing your tofu is advantageous. Freezing your tofu is a simple way to make your tofu taste more like meat, and it works by removing the moisture from it. Similarly, when you're making a tofu stir fry or tofu steak, some people press their tofu for hours to remove as much of the liquid from it as possible. It works great when using your tofu as a meat alternative — but not so much as a scramble alternative. While you'll still want to press your tofu some, it should only be for 15 to 30 minutes maximum. This is to ensure you maintain a bit of the moisture so it remains soft and doesn't dry out in the pan.

Tips for better scrambled tofu

Not over-pressing your tofu is the secret to ensuring a soft, fluffy, egg-free scramble — but there are other ways to elevate your tofu scrambles, too. Beyond the aforementioned turmeric, seasonings are the key to making sure they never come out bland. Turmeric, salt, and pepper are the obvious choices here, and you can also reach for spices like garlic and onion powder. However, if you want a tofu scramble that tastes similar to an egg one, you'll have to include some sort of umami. Black salt, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce or tamari are great options for that.

Outside of the seasonings you use and how long you're pressing your tofu, another way to ensure your tofu scrambles turn out top-tier is by using the right type of tofu. That, however, depends on how you like your eggs. If you like a softer scramble, you can opt for a softer tofu. You can even use silken tofu if you happen to like the velvety style of French eggs — just know it may not hold its shape. On the other hand, if you prefer more of a hard scramble, firm and extra firm tofus are generally the way to go.

Besides that, the simple way to make tofu scrambled eggs that don't disappoint is to treat them the same way you would a regular egg scramble. That means throwing in vegetables, cheeses, proteins, and any other common kitchen staples you like.