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Egg-Free Scrambled Breakfast Tofu


Updated February 14, 2008

Spices and a simple frying technique can make tofu look and taste surprisingly like scrambled eggs, making a nice change-of-pace breakfast option for those with egg allergies. I've suggested a combination of three spices that blend to make a beautiful yellowy-orange color. But if allergy needs or availability dictate, feel free to leave any of them out.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (corn, canola, sunflower, etc.), or more if needed
  • 1 tsp ground mustard, or more if needed
  • 1 tsp turmeric, or more if needed
  • 1 tsp ground annatto (achiote), or more if needed
  • 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add mustard, turmeric, and annatto. Stir spices until evenly distributed in oil.
  2. Add tofu, being careful not to crowd. (If tofu does not fit comfortably in skillet, you may need to fry tofu in two or three batches. Otherwise, tofu will steam instead of fry.) Season generously with salt and pepper. Fry tofu, stirring frequently, until outside is firm and taut, about six to eight minutes. If tofu does not pick up much color, add another pinch of each spice during cooking. Add additional spices and oil before frying each batch, if you need to fry multiple batches.
  3. If tofu is greasy upon removing from skillet, gently pat dry with paper towels. Serve immediately.

Serves two to four. Recipe can be multiplied. However, if you are cooking a large quantity, keep tofu warm before serving in an oven on low heat (250 F).

Ingredient note: Annatto, or achiote, is a ground seed that is a common natural coloring ingredient in Latin cuisine. You can find it in the Mexican food section of many supermarkets, in specialty spice stores, or in Latin American grocery stores.

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