Tofu Lettuce Wrap – Asian fusion recipe

Cooking Method ,
Cuisine ,
Difficulty Intermediate
Time
Prep Time: 60 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 5
Description

The Tofu Lettuce Wrap is a Vegetarian Recipe that is ideal for an appetizer course or as a light meal. Commonly found in Asian restaurants, this dish combines the freshness of Lettuce, stir-fried tofu, and vegetables dipped in a savory sauce.

Ingredients
    For the brown sauce :
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Peanut butter (Use Creamy version)
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup / Hot and sweet sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha / Hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt to taste
  • For the Main dish :
  • 2 Packs of EXTRA Firm tofu (Each About 14 Oz/ 400 gms)
  • 2 Fresh Iceberg (crisphead) lettuce heads ( Leaves separated )
  • 1/2 cup Roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 6 Spring onions thinly chopped– separate the green portion from white
  • 1 Large carrot (chopped as thin strips one inch long)
  • 1 Bell Pepper (chopped as thin strips one inch long)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black pepper powder
Instructions
  1. Drying and shallow frying the Tofu
    • After removing the tofu from its packaging, let the water drain completely. Then press the Tofu using an absorbent cloth and using a heavy weighted object to press it for about 10 minutes. ( If the moisture is retained in Tofu, it will not give the right texture to tofu mixture)
    • Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch wide strips.
    • I used the OTG ( oven toaster grill) to get all the moisture out from the Tofu and also get a light brown coat on tofu. This will ensure that the tofu is completely dry and ready for pan-frying.
    • Heat a non-stick frying pan and coat a thin layer of oil. Add the tofu slabs and fry them for another 10-15 minutes on high heat to get a light golden crunchy texture on the outer layer.
    • Remove the tofu slabs from the pan and cut them into small pieces (I kept the size to about ¼ inch cubes )

     

  2. Preparing the brown sauce
    • Heat a non-stick pan and add two tsp of cooking oil
    • Once the oil has heated, add the crushed red pepper and the ginger & garlic pastes. 
    • Keep stirring on low flame until the raw smell of ginger and garlic has disappeared.
    • Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar
    • Keep stirring on low heat until the liquid thickens
    • Add Peanut butter, ketchup, sesame oil, and hot sauce
    • Add the sesame seeds, and salt
    • The sauce should be now dark reddish-brown in color and of thick consistency. Taste the sauce and adjust the spice/salt levels.
    • Remove from heat.
  3. Key sauces / ingredients from market - commonly available in any Asian grocery store
  4. Preparing the Tofu Vegetable mixture
    • Take a stir-fry pan with raised edges
    • Heat the remaining oil. Add ginger-garlic paste and keep stirring
    • After the raw smell of ginger and garlic paste disappears, add all veggies except the green part of spring onions.
    • Raise the heat to high and keep stirring the veggies. A slight charring will give a beautiful restaurant-style flavor.
    • Once the veggies are slightly charred, add the Tofu and continue to stir for another 6-8 minutes.
    • Lower the flame. Add the brown sauce and stir it into the tofu and veggies to coat uniformly.
    • Sprinkle the chopped green part of spring onions. Give one more stir and remove from heat.
  5. Assembling & Serving the Tofu lettuce wrap
    • Take a whole lettuce leaf. Add 1/2 cup of tofu veggie mixture and sprinkle some chopped peanuts and sesame seeds.
    • Roll the lettuce into a wrap and bite into a melody of freshness filled with spicy-sweet-savory sauce, crunchiness of peanuts complemented by the fried tofu
Notes
  1. The brown sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in refrigerator for a few weeks
  2. The tofu veggie mixture can also be made in advance and stored in refrigerator. Just reheat it before assembling the wraps.
Keywords: Tofu, Lettuce wraps, spicy, Vegan, Crunchy, Savory
Vinay Mummigatti

I love traveling, cooking, and reading. This blog is a reflection of my passion for cooking. Food is a representation of culture and I have tried to assimilate foods from different cultures across the world. I am an Indian by birth who moved to the USA 20 years back. I hope my recipes and articles bring new experiences and joy to the readers. Please share your comments and feedback.