A few weeks ago, before the start of the new year, I was flirting with the idea of going vegan for the month of January. I was a strict pescatarian for two years, and although I do eat some meat and dairy now, the health benefits of a cruelty-free lifestyle are very appealing. However, the thought of giving up eggs for an entire month was too much to bear, so I abandoned the vegan plan and decided to just incorporate vegan dishes into my diet more often. These tofu lettuce wraps with hoisin-peanut sauce are really, really delicious and totally vegan. Serve with rice or noodles for a heartier meal.
Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
(adapted from Cooking Light)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 (14oz) package extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil
6 thinly sliced green onions (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium is okay)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot chile sauce
1 cup matchstick-cut cucumbers
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
8 Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
To prepare sauce: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add canola oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add minced shallot and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water, peanut butter, hoisin and red pepper, and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
To prepare 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.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add 1/3 cup green onions and sauté 1 minute. Add tofu and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 Tablespoons cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and Sriracha or chile sauce and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in cucumbers, carrots, and remaining green onions.
Spoon about 1/2 cup tofu mixture into each lettuce leaf and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon cilantro. Serve with sauce.