Plant-Based Protein: Tofu Scramble

By: Timothy Wiley
South Carolina State Nutrition Student

What is Tofu?

spinach tofu scramble  

Originating in China and made from soybeans, tofu has been a versatile, staple food item in many eastern countries and cultures for over 2,000 years. It has recently grown in popularity in the United States and other western countries as an alternative to animal-based protein. It is made by turning soymilk into semi-solid chunks or curds and pressing them in a wooden or plastic block to make silken, soft, firm, extra-firm, or super-firm tofu. Tofu eaten on its own has a subtle flavor depending on how it is prepared, but people who try it for the first time often comment on it’s bland flavor. However, it absorbs flavors easily, so it can be seasoned with just about anything and is a great way to add protein, but not change the flavor, of common recipes.

Another benefit of tofu is it costs less money than meat, offers a similar amount of protein per ounce and is more shelf stable. Purchasing a block of tofu will cost less than $3 per pound. Refrigerated tofu’s shelf life can last about a month unopened and 3 to 4 days opened, while shelf-stable tofu can be stored in your pantry for a few months or up to a year unopened. This makes tofu a great option for those trying to increase their protein intake on a budget!

Tofu Scramble Recipe (2 servings)

Do you love eggs? This recipe is a great entry level dish to tofu and uses ingredients you likely have at home or can be easily purchased at your local grocery store! Feel free to add any other ingredients like onions, mushrooms or peppers before or after cooking. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination!


1 package of firm or extra firm tofu, drained
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp black salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast


Heat a regular or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and combine seasoning in a small bowl. Once hot, crumble tofu into the pan, or crumble it in the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula, and add seasoning. Continue to stir and break-up pieces until most of the water has evaporated and the desired consistency is reached. Serve on top of baby spinach if desired.