These straightforward, easy lettuce wraps are a perfect marriage of crispy, well-seasoned tofu and fresh, crisp lettuce. The robust textures and a medley of harmonious flavors make this dish an irresistible option for dedicated vegetarians and anyone else searching for a light, satisfying meal.
✔ Main Ingredients Notes
- Tofu: For making tofu filling for the lettuce wraps, it’s best to use firm or extra-firm tofu. These types hold their shape well when cooked, which is particularly important when preparing a dish that requires the tofu to be sautéed or fried to achieve a crispy exterior. Firm and extra-firm tofu also have a higher protein content and a meatier texture compared to softer tofus, making them a more satisfying filling for the lettuce wraps.
- Soy sauce: Low sodium is best.
- Vegetables: My selection includes carrots which adds a sweet and slightly earthy flavor, plus a good crunch. The radishes add a peppery kick and nice crunch. Feel free to change and mix to personal taste preference,
Substitutions and Variations for Lettuce Wraps
They can be filled with a variety of vegetables, proteins, and sauces. Here are some vegetables that I believe work well in lettuce wraps:
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers offer a refreshing and cool taste. They can be sliced or diced.
- Bell Peppers: All colors of bell peppers work well. They add a sweet, slightly bitter taste and a good crunch. Thinly slice them for best results.
- Cabbage: Both red and green cabbage can be shredded and used. They give a great crunch and slight peppery flavor.
- Avocados: Avocados provide creaminess and a good source of healthy fats. They can be sliced or mashed and spread on the lettuce leaf.
- Sprouts: Alfalfa or bean sprouts add a unique flavor and extra crunch.
- Mushrooms: These can be sliced and cooked for a filling.
- Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes diced add a burst of juicy flavor.
- Onions: Green, red or white onions thinly sliced can add a tangy and aromatic flavor. Green onions/scallions are especially nice in Asian-style lettuce wraps.
- Zucchini or Summer Squash: Thinly sliced or spiralized, these can add a different texture and light taste.
Remember, the vegetables are tasty sautéed, or grilled depending on your preference. Also, for additional protein add or substitute shredded chicken for chicken lettuce wraps. A nice peanut sauce, Hoisin, salsa, chili sauce, or a vinaigrette can complement the vegetables and add more flavor to your lettuce wraps.
✎Recipe Preparation Steps
Prep 1: Cut off the base of the butter lettuce. Pull the leaves off and discard any that are not intact. Rinse leaves in cold water and drain.
Prep 2: Cut tofu into ½” bite sized cubes.
Prep 3: Peel and thinly slice the carrot into ¼” or thinner sticks no more than 2” long. Slice the green onion thin, and cut radish into ¼” sticks.
Prep 4: Mince the garlic and ginger.
✎Recipe Cooking Steps
Step 1: Mix the all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
Step 2: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Step 3: Add the chopped carrots and radish. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
Step 4: Pour in the sauce and cook for a final 2 minutes.
Step 5: Serve a scoop or 2 in each lettuce leaf with a sprinkle of optional sesame seeds. Best if served warm.
How to Store Leftovers
The wraps are meant to be eaten right after preparation however you can make them a day ahead with a few considerations
- Lettuce: Fresh lettuce typically lasts 2-4 days in the refrigerator. However, once it’s been cut, handled, and exposed to other ingredients, its freshness can decline more rapidly. Within a wrap, you might notice wilting or soggy texture after just a day. If you won’t be eating the wrap same day, I suggest you wait to assemble them.
- Tofu: Cooked tofu generally lasts around 2-3 days in the refrigerator. If the tofu was freshly cooked when you made the wraps, this could be the limiting factor.
As a general rule, tofu lettuce wraps are best consumed within 1 days when stored in the refrigerator. They should be kept in an airtight container to help preserve their freshness.
？Frequently Asked Questions
Firm or extra-firm tofu is the best choice for lettuce wraps. It holds up well to cooking and doesn’t fall apart easily.
Tofu is known for its lack of flavor, but it’s actually a great carrier for other flavors. Marinating tofu before cooking can infuse it with delicious flavors. Using sauces, spices, and herbs in the cooking process can also add a lot of taste.
Use sturdy lettuce leaves like iceberg, romaine, or butter lettuce. Also, don’t over stuff the wraps. When eating, hold them over a plate to catch any falling pieces!
Asian-inspired sauces like soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, or sesame oil work really well with tofu. You can also experiment with other flavors like salsa, guacamole, or vinaigrette.
It’s best to prepare the individual components in advance and assemble the wraps just before eating. This prevents the lettuce from getting soggy.
Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- ¼ pound firm tofu drained (pressed if desired)
- ¼ carrot peeled and matchstick sliced
- 1 radish matchstick sliced
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 6-8 leaves butter lettuce aka Boston lettuce, washed and dried
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari for gluten free option
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon mustard powder
- Cut off the base of the butter lettuce. Pull the leaves off and discard any that are not intact. Rinse leaves in cold water and drain.
- Cut tofu into ½”/12mm cubes.
- Peel and thinly slice the carrot into ¼”/6mm or thinner sticks no more than 2”/5cm long. Cut radish into ¼”/6mm sticks.Finely mince the ginger and garlic. If you have a garlic press, this is a good time to use it.
- Mix the all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pan on medium. Add the tofu and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the chopped carrots and radish. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Pour in the sauce and cook for a final 2 minutes.
- Serve a scoop or 2 in each lettuce leaf with a sprinkle of optional sesame seeds.Best if served warm.