Savory Tofu Lettuce Wraps

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Lettuce wraps are such a fun food:  crisp lettuce, savory filling, delicious bites!   The first time we ever ate them was at P.F. Chang’s. It instantly became a favorite side for every time we dined there. Since we don’t have one in our town and it wasn’t happening very often, I decided to make a recipe we could eat any time we desired. Here it is and I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

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The recipe entails some chopping, but if you, like me, chop a whole onion at the beginning of the week and keep minced ginger and garlic in your freezer, then serving up this meal doesn’t take that long.  Wraps are a great side with soup, vegetable fried rice or stir fry.  I even know people who would make it their whole meal if they were allowed!

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It really is a simple process. Dice the tofu into tiny cubes and stir fry in a dry nonstick skillet until the pieces firm up and get golden in color. Don’t do this on a high heat as you don’t want them to “fry” or stick to the pan. Give them a stir a few times while you are dicing the veggies. Then set aside so you can reuse the pan.

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Although it seems like a lot of veggies, the volume goes way down when they are sauteed, leaving just the right amount.

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Two short steps in the fry pan gets the job done.

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It is a simple matter to whisk up the seasonings and wet ingredients.

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Combine everything in the same fry pan and heat through.

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Once it is all nice and hot, dish up into a bowl and serve with the crisp butter lettuce cups — yum! We like to serve it as an accompaniment to a big bowl of soup, vegetable fried rice or hot Asian noodle dish.

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Each one is barely more than a couple of tasty bites. They disappear quickly.

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Savory Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Yield – 30 (2 tablespoon)
Servings – Feeds 4-6
Prep Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes (divided)
Total Time – 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 heads butter lettuce

1 brick extra firm tofu

2 cups (2.5 oz.) mushrooms diced ¼”

1/2 cup onion, diced ¼”

1 1/2 cup minced bok choy or spinach

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tbsp minced ginger

1 (8 oz. can) sliced water chestnuts, diced ¼” or chopped

1/2 cup green onions, ¼” slices — reserve for topping

2 tbsp Chicken-style Seasoning — to make your own see Chick-Like Seasoning

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp date syrup this can be replaced with 1 tbsp each black strap molasses & agave or honey


Instructions:
  1.  Wash and crisp the butter lettuce prior to dinner prep.
  2.  Drain tofu and cut into ¼” cubes.  In a large very good nonstick skillet lightly dry sauté the tofu cubes while you prep the vegetables and make the sauce.  Stir from time to time to keep them from sticking; cooking until the pieces are a nice golden color and a bit crispy.  Set aside so you can use the skillet for the veggies.
  3.  For the veggies, follow the prep technique beside each ingredient.
  4. In 2-3 teaspoons of water, sauté  on medium to medium low the mushrooms, onions, ginger, and bok choy for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and water chestnuts, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.  Add water as you need it, but just in tiny amounts to keep the veggies from sticking as all the water needs to be evaporated before adding the sauce.
  5. Emulsify the chicken-style seasoning, lemon juice, soy sauce, tahini, and date syrup.
  6. Fold the sauce and tofu into the cooked veggies; transfer to a serving bowl and top with the green onions.
  7. To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons in each lettuce leaf.

Notes:

The amount of sodium in the particular soy sauce used can make a real difference, so taste and adjust