Vegan Smoked Tofu Kedgeree is based on the traditional Scottish breakfast dish that actually has Indian roots. Curried rice is cooked with smoked tofu and peas, and flavoured with curry, garlic and ginger. To finish tomatoes are warmed through the rice which replaces the traditional egg, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley or coriander [cilantro] completes this delicious, satisfying one-pot meal.
Vegan Smoked Tofu Kedgeree is a fun and easy adaptation of the traditional British breakfast dish. This fish-free version is perfect for anyone who loves good wholesome recipes, not just vegans, vegetarians, and plant-based eaters.
Origins Of Traditional British Kedgeree
Classic kedgeree features rice cooked with curry powder and flakes of smoked haddock. The finished kedgeree dish is usually topped with halved or quartered hard boiled eggs and garnished with chopped parsley.
Kedgeree originates from the Indian dish Khichiri which consists of variations of rice, lentils, onions and spices. Millet and mung beans are sometimes used in place of the rice and lentils. Khichiri originates way back to the 14th Century and as with most recipes has evolved since then.
During the mid 1700s British colonists in India were inspired by Indian dishes and their families adapted the meals to the British tastes. These new exotic recipes were brought back to Britain and as with most dishes evolved over time as the dish became more popular. Somewhere along the line Anglo-Indian Kedgeree was born.
One of the first published recipes for Anglo-India Kedgeree was found in a 1790 Scottish cookery book by Stephana Malcolm. Again this recipe had to be adapted as a few of the exotic ingredients were unavailable in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, but haddock was widely available so this was included within the adapted Kedgeree dish.
Kedgeree in Victorian Times
During the Victorian times kedgeree was very popular breakfast dish and was served as part of the elaborate middle and upper-classes breakfast spreads.
Although the poorer and working classes did not widely eat Kedgeree as it was considered a luxury meal due to the smoked fish, a recipe for Kedgeree was provided in "Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management",  where Isabella Beeton includes a recipe for kedgeree that is specifically aimed for the working class.
Beeton's recipe calls for ''any cold fish'', which by that time was a cheaper option compared to smoked fish. The other ingredients are ''1 teacup of boiled rice, 1oz butter, 1 teaspoon of mustard, 2 soft-boiled eggs, salt and cayenne pepper to taste.'' The instructions were to mix the fish with the other ingredients and to serve very hot. So there is some evidence that a less extravagant form of Kedgeree was prepared by the lower classes.
Kedgeree was mentioned in the 1895 novel "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde, where the character Jack Worthing says, "I have been eating kedgeree for breakfast for the last three weeks."
Kedgeree in Downton Abbey Edwardian Times
If your a fan of historical drama you may have seen Kedgeree mentioned in the TV series Downton Abbey which is set in the British Edwardian era. It was the first dish that was served up in the series in Season 1, Episode 1.
In the episode, Mrs. Patmore, the cook at Downton Abbey, is preparing breakfast for the family. She is seen cooking kedgeree in the kitchen. The kedgeree is then served to the family in the dining room. The family enjoys the kedgeree and compliments Mrs. Patmore on her cooking.
Fast forward to present day Britain, kedgeree is still known as a breakfast or brunch meal but as its a cooked meal its usually reserved for less busy days such as celebrations or Bank Holidays, or enjoyed for lunch or dinner. Kedgeree is also a popular option in many Scottish restaurants.
Vegan Smoky Tofu Kedgeree Recipe
This vegan Kedgeree replaces smoked haddock, or as Mrs Beeton advised as a budget alternative - any cold fish, with smoked tofu. Smoked tofu is an excellent smoked fish substitute as it has a lovely smoked flavour and a pleasant texture.
The smoked tofu perfectly compliments the curried rice and peas. The smoked tofu that I used is the Tofoo.co (link is not an ad) brand which has the added bonus that it doesn't require pressing to remove liquid before using with a recipe.
Smoked tofu is great for this fish-free Kedgeree recipe and its available in many supermarkets [we sourced ours at our local UK Co-Op supermarket] but if you can't get your hands on a pack then you could replace it with plain firm tofu marinated in a couple of teaspoons of liquid smoke or perhaps dusted with a few teaspoons of smoked paprika.
To replace traditional boiled eggs, I simply quartered and sliced some large tomatoes into chunks and nestled these into the finished dish. The residual heat quickly warms and slightly softens the tomatoes which add an extra flavour dimension and a tasty juicy texture.
My family likes frozen peas with rice so I included these in our recipe as well for a nice touch of greenery! The flavourings used for this recipe include garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder and ginger powder, with the optional garnish of traditional fresh parsley which could always be replaced with fresh coriander [cilantro] if preferred. To finish lemon wedges can be offered which provides a fresh zesty kick to the finished dish.
This recipe for Tofu Kedgeree comes together nicely in one pan so it is a quick and easy cook that is perfect for busy families. Smoked Tofu Kedgeree is perfect for a special breakfast or brunch, as well as for lunch or dinner along with a slice of bread and a crisp salad.
Kedgeree was a favorite breakfast meal of the Victorian and Edwardian upper classes. It is made with rice, smoked fish, hard-boiled eggs, and curry powder. Our version uses smoked tofu, peas, tomatoes, and spices to create a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for any time of day.
How to prepare Smoked Tofu Kedgeree
This smoked tofu kedgeree is easy and quick as its cooked in one pan and can be ready to enjoy in about 45 minutes. Leftover kedgeree is great for adding to salads or re-heated and enjoyed as a side-dish.
First, heat the coconut oil in a pan. Or replace the coconut oil with a little vegetable broth.
Add the onion powder, garlic powder, ginger powder and curry powder and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes. The aromas will be amazing!
Next, pop in the rice.
Stir the rice through the spices.
Add the smoked tofu and the frozen peas.
Pour in the hot vegetable broth and bring to a gentle boil.
Gently boil for 12 minutes.
Turn off the heat, and pop a lid over the pan and leave for 10-15 minutes for the rice to finish cooking.
Season with salt and pepper, and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Garnish with tomato wedges nestled into the rice so that they warm through, and some chopped fresh parsley.
A squeeze of lemon juice is a tasty addition.
Recipe Notes and frequently asked questions
Leftovers should be cooled quickly and placed in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3 days. Ideally cooked rice dishes need to be cooled and placed in the refrigerator quickly to prevent bacteria growth.
To reheat kedgeree place in a non-stick pan or wok and heat it through almost like fried rice or a stir-fry.
Use a tablespoon of oil or ½ cup of veggie stock and over a medium-high heat stir until the rice is piping hot.
Butterbeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, vegan bacon cut up into pieces, vegan Quorn smoky ham slices, tempeh, seitan, chopped cooked vegan sausages, mushrooms, small broccoli florets, sliced asparagus, sweetcorn, mange tout, green beans, are just a few ideas.
Anything you like can substitute the smoked tofu. However the smoked tofu does replace the smoked haddock amazingly in flavour as well as texture so the finished kedgeree will be different if subs are used. Although your meal will still be tasty.
Adding a few teaspoons of smoked paprika to the rice along with the curry powder can help replace some of the smoky flavours that smoked tofu brings.
In place of smoked tofu try plain tofu marinated, for a couple of hours or overnight, in a few teaspoons of liquid smoke or even some BBQ sauce. Liquid smoke is a natural flavouring that is produced from condensing the water vapours from burning wood.
If your lucky enough to be a culinary genius you may be able to smoke your own tofu using a food smoker device. Cooking a block of tofu over a BBQ may help achieve some smoky flavour.
For gluten-free kedgeree use a gluten-free veggie stock and double check any spice blends for gluten ingredients.
If using plain tofu and liquid smoke as a replacement for smoked tofu do check that the liquid smoke is certified gluten-free. As frequently wheat or barley is used as a by-product. Smoked paprika may be a better option.
Although Kedgeree is traditionally enjoyed at breakfast time, it is also tasty for brunch, lunch or dinner. Or even as a side dish or chilled salad.
A few ideas:
* For breakfast or brunch serve with some crusty wholemeal bread or slices of toasted sourdough bread or bagels if liked. Slices of avocado are a tasty addition.
* For lunch serve the kedgeree with a lovely, rainbow coloured crispy salad. This also makes for a delicious light dinner.
* For dinner serve the kedgeree as a side dish or as the main event with sides of your favourite veggies. A pan of roasted veggies are a delicious accompaniment.
Think roasted courgette, bell peppers, butternut squash, aubergine, Brussel sprouts, carrots, onion slices, fennel slices, garlic cloves, wedges of red cabbage, etc. Sprinkle the veggie mix with balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and give it all a good mix. Roast in a hot oven until browned and fork tender. I usually have my fan oven at 180 (200 Celsius/400 Fahrenheit/ Gas 6) for about 30-40 minutes, with the veggies on the middle shelf, and stir everything half way.
Roasting the veggies saves time and effort cooking extra stuff on the stove top and brings out all the natural sweetness complimenting the smoky and curried kedgeree.
* My kids enjoy a few pieces each of Quorn vegan scampi along with this kedgeree. Kids may enjoy a few vegan fish fingers or a vegan fish cake.
* Corn cobs or sweetcorn also goes well with vegan kedgeree.
* Another idea is to use this kedgeree as a stuffing for sweet bell peppers, courgettes, squash, mushrooms or large tomatoes.
* try adding a few tablespoons of raisins or sultanas, pop these in along with the veggie stock. Dried fruit always goes well with curried dishes and is a frequently added to some variations of kedgeree.
* a cup of cooked mung beans or your favourite pulse can be added along with the tofu.
* a can of drained chickpeas (400g/14oz can) can be added with the tofu.
* for a richer kedgeree try drizzling some soya, oat or cashew cream over the finished dish and mixing though. Many variations of kedgeree have cream as an addition mixed through the finished dish.
* chuck in chopped or ripped up pieces of a dried seaweed to the dish after it has finished cooking.
* a few tablespoons of plain or toasted flaked almonds are a nice garnish and add an interesting texture and extra flavour. As do toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
More Delicious Vegan Rice Dishes
Vegan Smoked Tofu Kedgeree
- Non-stick skillet, or deep frying pan, stove-top casserole pan, with lid.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or 125ml (½ cup) of vegetable stock if your on a no-oil diet, for cooking the spices.
- 200 g long grain rice or basmati Washing your rice under a running tap in a sieve can help remove starch and prevent the rice sticking together once cooked.
- 225 g smoked tofu or 1 average size smoked tofu pack which may be more or less the stated measurement. If necessary gently press the tofu between 2 plates or small chopping boards with kitchen paper to absorb the excess liquid. Or use a tofu press. Some brands of tofu do not require pressing.
- 130 g frozen peas or fresh
- 2 teaspoons onion powder or 1 medium onion, fine chopped.
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 4 garlic cloves, fine chopped or minced.
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated.
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 750 ml vegetable stock
- 20 g parsley Or coriander/chives. Chopped
- 4 tomatoes sliced into thick wedges
- lemon wedges to squeeze fresh lemon juice over finished dish
- Heat the coconut oil or 125ml (½ cup) of veggie stock to the pan.
- Cook the onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder for 3 minutes over a medium heat. Stir frequently.
- Add the rice and mix through the cooked spices.Toast in the pan for 2 minutes stirring to avoid sticking.If using veggie stock the liquid should have evaporated but if not its fine.
- Tip in the tofu and peas.Pour in the veggie stock. Add a little salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove top. Place a lid on the pan and leave to sit in the residual heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Push in the wedges of tomato.
- Scatter parsley or coriander over.Keep the lid on the pan until your ready to serve as this will warm the tomatoes and keep your kedgeree warm.Serve with wedges of lemon if liked.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Leftovers can be chilled quickly, placed in a covered container, and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat in the same pan used to cook the kedgeree until piping hot. Add a little veggie stock and stir with a spoon until heated through almost like you would make fried rice or stir-fry.
- Leftovers are tasty as a chilled kedgeree rice salad or side dish.
- Leftovers are perfect for preparing stuffed peppers, courgettes/zucchini, squash or as a cabbage roll filling.