Lettuce wraps are a great option for vegans, those on a gluten free diet or those simply trying to cut bread and carbs from their regular diets. These lettuce wraps are inspired by PF Chang’s tofu lettuce wraps, which are one of my favorite excuses to go out to eat. With the nearest PF Chang’s being more than an hour away (in Columbus), I decided to attempt to recreate one of my cherished comfort foods. This was more than a year ago, and tofu lettuce wraps have been a regular dinner of mine ever since.
Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
- One package of extra firm tofu
- 1/4 of an onion
- One lime
- 1/5 cup of peanuts
- Soy sauce
- Lemon juice
- Rice vinegar
- Brown sugar
- White sugar
- Spicy mustard (optional)
- One garlic clove
- One head of lettuce
PAUSE: If you are looking at this list and checking out due to its length, remember that many of these ingredients are likely to already be in your home (sugar, brown sugar, ketchup etc.). And those that aren’t (like rice vinegar) are a one time purchase that can be kept and used to make the lettuce wraps for future meals. When all staples are purchased and kept, the only thing you will need to buy to continue to make a meal for two to three people (or to keep for yourself as leftovers) is a package of extra firm tofu (less than $2 at Kroger) and a head of lettuce (also less than $2 at Kroger). This is a cheap and clean dinner option!
- Remove tofu from package and wrap in paper towels to squeeze moisture out.
- Cut tofu into half inch cubes, continuing to use paper towels to remove excess water from the tofu.
- Place tofu cubes in a Ziploc bag for at least one hour (you can also leave tofu in the freezer over night if you want to prep in advance. If you do this, microwave the tofu for one minute after removing it from the freezer so that it is east to work with).
- Cut and dice 1/4 of an onion.
- Combine 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar and 1 diced garlic clove. Mix in a small bowl and pour over tofu.
- Add a few tablespoons of oil to a medium sized skillet on medium-high heat.
- Put tofu, remaining liquid in bowl and onion in the frying pan and let it cook for 12-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stop cooking when majority of tofu has browned around the corners.
- Rinse lettuce and pull apart leaves for wraps.
Making the sauce:
- Combine 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of spicy mustard (thinned in hot water) and 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
- Cut lime into 4 wedges to serve with wraps
- In a blender, blend peanuts and serve as a garnish to be sprinkled on lettuce wraps
Scoop warm tofu and onion mixture into individual lettuce wraps. Serve with lime, peanuts and sauce for personalized flavoring and enjoy (: