Lettuce wraps are great both for family dinners and guests because they look fancy but are simple to make. I think of them as a lighter version of burritos, with equally vast variations. They work as appetizers or as mains – but you need to really amp-up the fillings and allow a few per person to make a meal.
Get your kids excited about this dish by choosing a sauce they love, and/or by letting them build their own wraps from a buffet of toppings. My little guy always goes back for seconds and gobbles up a lot of tofu along the way. My toddlers prefer plain lettuce leaves and sauce without the messy toppings.
The pictured wraps described below are our standard 30 minute version. For a faster no-cook version – simply used pressed, flavoured tofu (we like sriracha or smoked from Soyganic) and raw shredded carrot rather than cooked. Flavours are not as deep but still very tasty.
Makes ~ 8 medium wraps
1. Green wrapper
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
2. Calorie-dense filling
- One package (340g) of tofu (we prefer medium-firm or firm tofu over extra-firm as less firm equals more moist)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (or swap some out for sesame or sunflower)
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- Ready-made hoisin sauce (sugary, so be sparing!) OR Paula’s Peanut Sauce
- Optional vinaigrette for veggies: 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup green onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
- Sesame seeds
- Pull the leaves off the romaine head and wash, then pat dry with paper towel.
- Rinse tofu block and press between paper towels to remove excess water. Letting it sit under a weight for a while is even better if time permits. Cut into small cubes (less than 1 cm). Sometimes I sauté in slices and chop afterwards to make the frying easier.
- Shred carrots and cut any other veggies you want to use into small pieces.
- If using vinaigrette, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, and maple syrup in a small dish.
- Dice any toppings (green onions, cashews).
Warm oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and continuously mix for a few minutes until golden. Turn down to low-medium heat. Add the shredded carrots, garlic, ginger. Sautéed for 3-4 minutes. Add the (optional) vinaigrette to the whole mix when done.
Select a leaf, layer on sauce, then tofu veggie mix, then toppings. Add extra sauce if desired.
Shopping tip: inspect the romaine head for signs of browning both in leaves and the base – fresh will be white.
Green wrapper: Restaurants often iceberg lettuce which is less nutritious but has a nice bowl shape.
To get fancy, add a rice paper wrap on the outside to hold it together.
Calorie-dense filling: This also works with pre-seasoned tofu such as Soyganic smoked or sriracha. Veggie ground beef crumbles work as well. To make the dish more filling, throw in some brown rice that has been pre-mixed with your chosen sauce (hoisin or peanut).
Veggies: Mushrooms make a great addition but aren’t always kid friendly 🙁
Toppings: The sky’s the limit! Play with different nuts and seeds to add texture and flavour.
Credit to supernanny Paula for a perfect tofu sautéed every time!