Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

I don’t really have a lettuce wrap story, which is unfortunate I suppose. I wish I could tell you that a lettuce wrap once saved my life. I can’t because it didn’t. I wish I could tell you that my favorite childhood memory involves a pink tutu, an imaginary friend, and delicious lettuce wraps. Alas, only 2 parts of that story would come close to any true tale. I wish I could tell you that my great-great-grandparents used to make lettuce wraps while wearing lederhosen and singing songs in German as they skipped through the Austrian Alps. That story wouldn’t make sense for a whole slew of reasons. I just don’t have a good lettuce wrap story.

Today it rained all day. I needed something to brighten my day and these wraps did the trick. I didn’t get my workout in. I didn’t get my oil changed. I didn’t even get my apartment cleaned. I did however get a delicious meal in my stomach. I guess we can call it a successful day… maybe?

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps
Source: Vegetarian Times

2tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1T fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
4T hoison sauce
4T soy sauce
2-3tsp chili sauce (sriracha sauce)
1 lb extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and crumbled
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
Garnish: carrot, green onion, peanuts, cilantro, etc.
Boston Lettuce (for wrapping)

Confusing recipe here folks because frankly I didn’t love this the first time I made it. I thought the original recipe produced a tofu that was a bit too mushy.  I included the original recipe and my recipe – you can decide which you prefer.

Original Recipe: Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2-3minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Continue to cook for additional 2-3minutes until onion is translucent. Stir to avoid burning. Add in tofu and water chestnuts. Heat through, about 3-4 minutes. Add hoison sauce, chili sauce, and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.  To assemble, lay lettuce cup onto plate. Scoop some tofu mixture onto leaf. Garnish with whatever you desire. Eat!

My Version (a bit more labor intensive): Take pressed tofu and crumble. In a small bowl, combine crumbled tofu, 2T hoison sauce and 2T soy sauce. Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes. Preheat broiler oven. Place marinated tofu onto lightly oiled cooking sheet under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes, stirring once half way through the cooking time. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, heat 2tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger. Cook for additional 1-2minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Add water chestnuts and cooked tofu. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 2T hoison sauce and 2T soy sauce. Remove the heat. Assemble lettuce wraps and garnish as desired. I liked grated carrot and green onions!

Enjoy this as an appetizer or a main dish!


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