Lettuce Wraps You’ll Want to Wrap Your Mouth Around
Believed to be of Chinese origin, lettuce wraps went on to infiltrate Southeast Asia before coming to America, where they were made popular by P.F. Chang’s. One of the most copied menu items in restaurants, not only in the U.S. but globally, these fan favorites are easy to recreate at home, plant-based 411 style.
You start with a lettuce leaf, preferably bib but romaine will do. (PFC goes the more basic route, making iceberg their leaf of choice, which is another option.) Into each leaf goes a savory filling consisting of extra firm tofu, water chestnuts, green onions, orange or yellow bell pepper, ginger, and garlic, with an umami bomb of a sauce – hoisin, seasoned rice vinegar, tamari, Hatch pepper seasoning, and creamy peanut butter, oh my.
First, make the sauce and set it aside. Sauté the tofu and veggies, douse with the finger-licking good sauce, and then let the filling cool down a bit. Place a spoonful or two into each lettuce leaf and garnish with diced Easter egg radishes and fresh cilantro or parsley-- your choice. You can also swap out the bell peppers, but be sure to leave in the water chestnuts for some authentic crunch.
Thank you, P.F. Chang’s for the inspiration!
Tofu Lettuce Wraps
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 ½ tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
¼ teaspoon Hatch pepper seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2-3 tablespoons water
For the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 package (14 oz.) extra firm tofu, crumbled into bite-sized pieces and drained
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
½ cups water chestnuts, chopped
½ cup orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
For the wrap:
8 bib lettuce leaves
For the garnish:
½ cup Easter egg radishes, diced
½ cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
¼ cup sesame seeds
Whisk to combine the sauce ingredients. Add more water if necessary to reach the consistency of pancake batter. Set aside.
To make the filling, sauté the crumbled and drained tofu in the olive oil over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Stir in the garlic, ginger, water chestnuts, orange or yellow bell pepper, and green onions, and sauté another 5 minutes until everything is well heated and the water chestnuts and bell pepper still have some crunch.
Pour the sauce over the mixture and stir to combine. Heat another 2 minutes and then turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
Place some of the filling in each of the lettuce leaves. Top with diced radishes, cilantro or parsley, and sesame seeds.