Meatless Monday: Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps
(adapted from Ellie Krieger)

I was pretty skeptical of this whole Meatless Monday thing when I moved home, but I must say, it's meals like these that really make me see the light. And since my big brother is moving home for the summer and he refers to all meatless meals as "hippy food" we're going to have to break out the big guns. Put this at the top of the list of meatless meals to impress my brother with!

These babies are such a nice treat. They're light. They're flavorful. And at almost no calories at all, you can eat tons of them and still have room for dessert! Just one thing: once you assemble a lettuce wrap and pick it up, don't even try setting it down or it will completely fall apart and you will no longer have a lettuce wrap but more of a lettuce mess on your plate. 

Lettuce Wraps
  • 12 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp bottled chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 c hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sherry or Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, greens trimmed and reserved, thinly sliced (about 1/3 c each greens and whites)
  • 1/2 c finely diced water chestnuts
  • 1 large head Bibb lettuce, outer leaves discarded, leaves separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 c chopped peanuts
1) Line a plate with paper towels, cover with another couple of paper towels, and set a plate on top. Place something heavy on top and let it sit for 20 min. 

2) Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and sherry.

3) Slice tofu into 1/2 in thick slabs and lay on top of paper towels. Use more paper towel to firmly pat the tofu. The goal is to get as much moisture out of the tofu as possible. It should take about 2 min and use about 3 paper towels. Finely mince tofu and set aside. 

4) Heat oil in a wok or very large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and scallion whites and cook until scallion whites are translucent and ginger is fragrant, about 2-3 min. Add tofu and cook, stirring, until warmed through. Add reserved sauce. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring, another 3-4 min. Add water chestnuts and stir to incorporate. 

5) Fill each lettuce leaf with the filling. Add scallion greens, red peppers, and peanuts on top and enjoy!

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