How to turn excess tofu into a spicy lunch – recipe

·3 min read

A vegan take on the super-brunch, huevos rancheros, using scrambled tofu

Soya is one of the four main crops that feed the world 60% of its calories, and organic- and biodynamic-certified soya products are just one good way to help encourage better farming practices to build back soil health and plant diversity.

Tofu often comes in large blocks that can be hard to get through in one sitting. Firm tofu freezes well – some say it even improves the texture, turning it more meat-like. Silken tofu, however, tends to get coarser when frozen, though it’s still fine to eat. If you have an excess of tofu, use it up in a quick stir-fry, add it to smoothies, whizz it up with olive oil and lemon juice to make vegan mayo, or make this quick and tasty brunch.

Tofu rancheros

When I lived in Honduras, my go-to-breakfast was huevos rancheros, a spicy and satisfying brunch of eggs served on corn tortillas with salsa fresca, refried beans and guacamole. Here, I’ve made it with silken tofu, which scrambles perfectly and goes wonderfully well with the spicy rancheros sauce. It’s quick to make and a great use of excess tofu.

If you like, use fresh jalapeños instead of the dried chillies here – how many depends on your taste and capacity for heat. That said, there are an estimated 4,000 different varieties of chilli now grown in the world, and exploring that diversity helps to promote biodiversity. Although seed diversity is dwindling overall, the agrodiversity of some plant species is increasing as horticulturalists explore new varieties of ingredients. In chillies’ case, these range from the very mild, pop-them-in-your-mouth varieties such as the Spanish poblano or smoky ancho, to the hottest, touch even just the tip of your tongue and blow-your-head-off varieties such as the Carolina reaper, which registers a scorching 2,200,000 on the Scoville heat scale. Keep an eye out for locally grown varieties at farmers’ markets and in box schemes, or check out the likes of theSouth Devon Chilli Farm for mail order. Dried chillies such as guajillo and chipotle can be bought from large supermarkets, delis and online.

Serves 2

1 dried guajillo chilli, soaked in water for five minutes, or fresh jalapeño or red chilli to taste
1 dried chipotle chilli, soaked in water for five minutes, or fresh jalapeño or red chilli to taste
1 large tomato, finely chopped
¼ red onion, finely diced
1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
120g cooked black beans
, cooking liquid saved
Virgin or light olive oil
200g organic silken tofu
, drained
¼ tsp turmeric
4 sprigs coriander
, stalks finely chopped, leaves left whole
4 corn tortillas, to serve
Guacamole, to serve

First make therancheros sauce. Remove and discard the tops and seeds from the drained soaked chillies, then finely chop the flesh. In a bowl, mix the chillies with the tomato, onion and garlic, then season with sea salt to taste.

Reheat the black beans in a little of their cooking liquid, season, mash slightly with a fork, then keep warm until ready to serve.

Drain and pat dry the silken tofu, then crumble it into rough pieces so it looks a bit like scrambled eggs. Put a glug of oil in a thick-based frying pan over a medium heat, then gently fry the tofu and turmeric for five minutes. Add half the rancheros sauce and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Spoon the tofu and black beans on to the warmed tortillas and serve with the remaining sauce and some guacamole on the side and topped with the coriander.

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