A fried egg sandwich was always a nice, simple treat. It was pure comfort food, on toasted bread with a little mayo and maybe a slice of cheese… I don’t miss eggs for much else — and I’m not a fan of “scrambled tofu” dishes because I never cared for scrambled eggs. This fried tofu doesn’t taste a whole lot like eggs, but it has a nice soft texture and taste that are familiar. With a little Vegenaise, it’s perfect — but I prefer a LOT of Vegenaise!
For a long time, I didn’t care much for tofu. It was wet and spongy and… smelled kinda funny. But I’m stubborn. I had tofu at my favorite Thai restaurant and loved it – I should be able to make it, gosh darn it! So I started with Chinese and Thai dishes and used a lot of deep-fried tofu from the Asian market (one of my favorite places to shop). Not surprisingly, Asian cuisines do tofu best. Gradually, I figured out that if tofu is pressed, marinated or seasoned right, and not overcooked, it can be pretty good! However, it’s only as good as you season it, because it really doesn’t have much taste of its own. I also learned that I don’t care for the freeze-and-thaw method, which some say gives tofu a firmer, meatier texture. To me, it makes the texture like a tough old sponge…
To press the water out of tofu, you can either press the whole block or slice first and press the slices. If you slice before pressing, the tofu crumbles easier, so be careful. I wrap a tea towel (a plain cotton towel, not terrycloth) around the tofu, then wrap another towel (this one can be terrycloth) around the whole thing. Stack heavy cookbooks on top, or use a cookie sheet and add some canned goods for weight, for about 30 minutes. I keep the slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, so I can take a couple out and cook them in different ways.
I have to guard my tofu sandwiches carefully, because somebody besides me has developed a taste for tofu – and she’s ruthless!
2 slices tofu, pressed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp cornstarch (neat trick I learned from a friend – adding cornstarch to any breading helps keep the food from absorbing too much oil)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 English muffin
Heat olive oil on medium heat. Mix nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, garlic and onion powders, and pepper in bowl; dredge tofu slices and fry on medium-low heat until golden brown and remove from pan. Toast English muffin. Spread toasted English muffin with Vegenaise and add tofu.
Variations: add sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and/or onions.