Tofu is a protein-rich staple of vegetarian cooking. This bean curd has a wide range of applications. It absorbs flavors and comes in a variety of textures. Silk and soft tofus are smooth and creamy, but for duplicating meat or eggs, you need firm or extra-firm tofu. Crumbling these firm-textured tofus creates a vegan substitute for scrambled eggs. The secret to crumbling tofu is to freeze and press it. This process changes the texture from a solid block to a chewy mass, which crumbles easily.
Things You'll Need
Remove the tofu from its package and pat it dry with paper towels.
Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Arrange the slices on a plate in a single layer.
Cover the plate tightly with plastic wrap.
Freeze the tofu for at least 2 hours or until the slices are frozen solid.
Transfer the tofu to a colander placed over a bowl to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, thaw the tofu in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on the defrost setting for 3 to 5 minutes or until there are no more ice crystals in the tofu slices. According to “The Soy of Cooking,” freezing tofu turns the water in the tofu into ice crystals. Thawing the tofu after freezing breaks these ice crystals and releases the water inside. The remaining solids and proteins in the block of tofu get closer together as they do not have water molecules separating them. This makes the tofu chewy and crumbly in texture, instead of firm and moist.
Press the tofu gently as it thaws against the sides of the colander to remove excess water from the tofu.
Rub the thawed tofu slices between your hands. This breaks the tofu and it will crumble into the bottom of the colander.
Transfer the tofu crumbles to a bowl and reserve until you’re ready to cook them.
Cook the crumbles in a skillet over medium heat until heated through as you would eggs.
Freeze the tofu for as long as possible, Marie Oser in “The Soy of Cooking” recommends freezing tofu for at least one week for the best texture.
References and Resources"The Soy of Cooking"; Marie Oser; 1996
"High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking"; Steve Raichlen; 1995