Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

Can you center a whole dinner around sauce?  Oh, yeah.  Especially if it’s this incredible peanut sauce.  In fact, the lettuce wraps are really more of a garnish in my opinion (although they were very yummy).  I could eat this sauce with a spoon.

If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be liking tofu I would have called you crazy.  I was never a huge fan.  After a couple very bad recipe failures early in my cooking experiments, I went many years without touching the stuff.  But my recent foray into vegetarian cooking has led me to venture into tofu territory again and oddly enough, I find myself developing a genuine like for it.

I’m definitely getting my money’s worth out of my Cooking Light subscription lately.  I think this is the third or fourth dish I’ve made out of the most recent issue.  I’m loving the fresh, seasonal dinners and this one was no exception.

This is the first recipe I’ve made with the tofu crumbled, and I found the consistency appealing, very similar to scrambled eggs in texture, but taking on the flavor of all the yummy ingredients mixed with it.  These were delicious and a huge hit with the kids too!

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce. As you can see, I’m a serial over-filler when it comes to lettuce wraps and tacos. Have extra napkins ready.

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
(from Cooking Light)

Sauce ingredients:
1 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp minced shallot
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
4 tsp hoisin sauce
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Filling ingredients:
1 (14 oz.) package extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
5 thinly sliced green onions (about 2/3 cup, divided)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
1 cup matchstick-cut cucumbers
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
2 cups cooked rice
8 (or more if they are small) Bibb lettuce leaves

To prepare tofu for filling, spread crumbled tofu in a single layer on several layers of paper towels.  Cover with additional paper towels.  Let stand 20 minutes, pressing down occasionally.

Meanwhile, to prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add canola oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add shallot and cook for 2 minutes.  Add water, peanut butter, hoisin sauce and crushed red pepper and stir with a whisk.  Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add 1/3 cup green onions, saute one minute.  Add tofu, saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 2 tbsp.cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sugar and Sriracha.  Saute one minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cucumbers, carrots and remaining green onions.

Spoon 1/4 cup rice into each lettuce leaf.  Top with about 1/2 cup tofu mixture.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sauce.

Serves 4.

 

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