soup and such

simple, fresh vegetarian soups and more

tofu lettuce wraps with peanut sauce

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We have made these tofu wraps a few times now and they are so good. The Soup and Such household (except Zooey) is in the middle of a 2-week vegan challenge and this recipe is vegan as is, so it was a perfect thing to make last week. They are a little labor intensive, mostly because you have to get all the components ready, but I think the extra effort is worth it. They make a really nice, light meal. One word of caution: they can be a little messy to eat, especially if your lettuce leaves are on the flimsy side. Of course, they still taste great no matter how much filling slides out on to your plate. So just have a napkin handy, throw caution to the wind, and dig in.

Tofu lettuce wraps with peanut sauce

Happy eating! ~Inge

Tofu lettuce wraps with peanut sauce
Adapted just a little from Cooking Light

I pretty much follow the exact recipe from Cooking Light, although we do add a little more Sriracha to the filling mixture because we like spicy flavors. If you don’t, I’d recommend sticking with the ½ teaspoon recommended in the original recipe. Another tip: make the rice first and let it hang out until you’re ready to assemble the wraps. The rice may have cooled to room temperature at that point, but that’s fine.

Tofu filling:
1 package extra-firm tofu
1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 cup cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
2/3 cups sliced green onions, divided
1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chili sauce)

Peanut sauce:
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

You’ll also need about 2 cups hot cooked rice. We use Jasmine rice for this, but use whatever you have on hand. You’ll also need some washed and dried lettuce leaves for assembling the wraps. We always use Boston/Bibb/Butter lettuce for this, but I think Romaine would also work. You want something fairly sturdy that would make a good container for the fillings.

1. Drain and press the water out of the tofu. Our method for this is to first drain the water from the package and cut the block of tofu into two pieces. Then, put those two pieces of tofu in between layers of a clean kitchen towel on top of a cutting board. Place something heavy on top (a small frying pan, cans of beans, etc.) and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes. Doing this presses the water out of the tofu. When the tofu is dry (the towels will be damp), cut it up into very small cubes or crumble it. Set aside.

2. To make the peanut sauce, heat the canola oil in a small saucepan and add the shallot, cooking for 2 minutes. Then, add 1/3 cup water along with the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and crushed red pepper. Whisk it up and cook for about 1 minute. Take it off the heat and stir in the fresh lime juice. Let the sauce hang out while you get everything else ready. You might need to reheat it just a little when you’re ready to use it.

3. To make the filling, place the chopped carrots and cucumbers in a large bowl and stir in 1/3 cup of the green onions. Set aside. Now, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the sesame oil. Add the remaining 1/3 cup green onions and sauté for 1 minute. Then, add the tofu and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to get my tofu pieces nice and crispy. Then, add 2 tablespoons of the cilantro along with the soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and Sriracha. Stir everything up and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Then, add the tofu mixture to the large bowl with the carrot/cucumber mixture. Stir it up.

4. To assemble the wraps, put a small amount of rice in a lettuce leaf, add a few spoonfuls of the tofu filling, top with chopped cilantro and a dollop of peanut sauce. Eat immediately and enjoy!

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