Meet Vigas, the Vegan Migas That Will Become Your Favorite Brunch

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Messy and delicious, the way migas should be. [Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I'm typically not much of a breakfast eater, but during my annual month-long dip into veganism, I find that eating breakfast is essential if I don't want to fall victim to the classic carb crutch, eating myself silly on bread and pasta for lunch (that's an unhealthy habit no matter what your diet may be). My go-to weekday breakfast is refried beans and avocado on a slice of toast or, more frequently, a corn tostada. It's fast, it's easy, it's delicious, and it keeps me going for the whole morning.

On weekends, I want something for breakfast that I can really dig into—something that wouldn't feel out of place with a Bloody Mary or a michelada on the side. Enter vigas. That'd be vegan migas (and I'm only a little bit sorry for the terrible wordplay). Migas are the Tex-Mex dish of eggs scrambled with fried tortillas, onions, and chilies, served wrapped up in more soft corn tortillas. It's a nearly ideal dish for veganizing because of the way the eggs are treated.

I'm not a fan of most tofu scramble recipes for a couple of reasons. First off, they almost always call for extra-firm tofu which is baffling to me. Do people like eating extra-firm and rubbery scrambled eggs? I suppose some people do, but I prefer my eggs either light and fluffy or tender and creamy. Tofu scrambles are also typically flavored with turmeric and/or curry powder. Or rather, it's more accurate to say that they are colored with turmeric or curry powder because people want their "eggs" to look yellow. My take is, if I wouldn't add curry powder to my scrambled eggs, why would I add it to my scrambled tofu?

Light and fluffy is hard to accomplish with tofu, but tender and creamy is easy: soft or medium silken tofu already has the texture of a soft egg custard, so from a texture standpoint, tofu should work in any scrambled egg recipe where the eggs are intended to come out creamy. Migas are a prime candidate.

I based my recipe on Daniel's technique. It's quick and easy and delivers great results.

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In Daniel's recipe, he has you shallow-fry fresh corn tortillas strips in a couple inches of oil, but in the interest of time (and, okay, I'm lazy), I tried frying my tortillas in just a few tablespoons of oil, tossing and flipping them occasionally. My thinking was that with migas, you end up tossing those chips into a saucy mixture later on anyway, so it shouldn't really make much difference if they are perfectly evenly crisped during this step. A couple of soft spots or charred spots should even out in the wash, and this would turn the dish into a one-skillet meal.

In the meantime, I chopped up a tomato, salted it, and let it sit in a strainer in order to concentrate its flavor and drain off excess liquid. Once the chips were crisp, I set them aside and returned the skillet to the burner.

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Next up, I added a chopped onion, a chopped poblano pepper, and a chopped Serrano pepper, sautéing them until they were softened but not browned. Then I added a pinch of cumin and a little bit of paprika to the vegetables to start layering on the flavors. When the peppers and onions were nice and soft, I added a block of silken tofu, breaking it up gently with a wooden spoon before folding in the drained tomatoes and the tortilla chips along with a half cup of salsa verde (either homemade or store-bought will do fine).

The rest of the process is easy: just poke, stir, fold, and season the mix with salt until it has a texture and flavor you're happy with, and then stir in a handful of cilantro. This tofu-based version is actually easier than an egg-based one because there's no danger of overcooking it—tofu doesn't harden as it cooks down the way eggs do. It also means that it's a great dish for making ahead and reheating.

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I like to bring the skillet directly to the table along with a bowl of hot refried beans, a bowl of salsa, and a stack of charred soft corn tortillas for guests to make into their own little vigas tacos.

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Nobody ever said that migas are supposed to be pretty, but boy are they delicious.