Easy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

These vegan tofu lettuce wraps are packed with flavor and make an easy lunch or dinner. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy tofu without much effort!
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These easy tofu lettuce wraps make a light and flavorful lunch or dinner and are easy to make at home without much prep work. The tofu filling can be made in advance and so these are great for meal prep as well.

tofu lettuce wrap topped with green onions with bowls of sauce in the background

The first time I had tofu lettuce wraps was at PF Chang’s. I instantly loved them, though Sarvesh didn’t fancy them (but then he never fancies anything with tofu), and ever since they are my go-to order when we eat at that restaurant. I also had tofu lettuce wrap at another restaurant recently, which was incredible and that’s what motivated me to share this homemade version on the blog.

I have shared several tofu recipes on the blog over the years and some of them like the kung pao tofu or Thai basil tofu stir-fry continue to be reader’s favorite. If you love those recipes, then I am sure you will love this one too. It comes together very quickly and is packed with flavors.

The only extra bit needed for this recipe is that you need to press the tofu, which is important and should not skipped. The recipe itself is easy and quick!

These Tofu Lettuce Wraps

  • make a tasty vegan dinner/lunch idea.
  • easy to make and doesn’t require much prep work.
  • can be easily made gluten-free.
  • ideal for a light dinner during summer.

These are also great for meal prep. You can make the tofu in advance and keep it refrigerated and use it throughout the week. Just heat it when you want to eat it and place it in your lettuce and enjoy.

Sometimes, I also combine this tofu with quinoa with a dressing on top for an easy lunch. So, it’s quite versatile. You can even add this tofu to a tortilla and make regular wrap in place of a lettuce wrap.

Ingredients

ingredients for tofu lettuce wraps arranged on a board

Extra-firm tofu: for making lettuce wraps, you need to use extra-firm tofu. Do not substitute with soft tofu. For the tofu to absorb maximum flavor, it’s also super important to press the tofu and drain all the excess moisture from it.

Lettuce: I have used butter lettuce here for the wraps since that’s what I prefer most while making these.

Sauce: the sauce is made with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, and sesame oil. rice vinegar and some brown sugar. You can make the sauce spicier by adding more chili sauce or make it sweeter by adding more brown sugar to it.

Flavor enhancers: I use a lot of ginger and garlic in these wraps as they add a lot of flavors. Using chestnuts is optional but I highly recommend using them since they add texture and crunch to the tofu mixture.

Which Lettuce To Use for Wraps

There are so many types of lettuce available in the market. For lettuce wraps, you need something which can hold the filling, doesn’t get soggy quickly, and can also be easily eaten as a wrap.

I think butter lettuce works the best for lettuce wraps and that is what I use in this recipe. It has the perfect shape (is deep enough to hold the filling) and texture (sturdy enough and doesn’t wilt) for wraps. It also folds easily so easier to eat as a wrap.

If you can’t find butter lettuce, Iceberg lettuce also works. It’s crunchy and adds texture to the wraps. Romaine is another option.

Step by Step Method

1- Start by pressing your extra-firm tofu. Place 15 oz of tofu on a flat surface and then place a heavy object on top of it. I placed a cast iron skillet on top, you can also use a tofu press if you have one. Press the tofu for 15 minutes, this is important to drain all the excess moisture from the tofu so that it absorbs the flavors better, so do not skip this step.

2- While the tofu is being pressed, make the sauce. In a bowl or measuring jar, add the following:

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or any chili sauce of choice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

3- Using a wire whisk, mix it all until well combined.

4- Once the tofu has been pressed, heat a cast-iron skillet (or any other pan) on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to it and then crumble the tofu with your hands and add it to the skillet.

step by step picture collage of making tofu lettuce wraps

5- Cook the tofu, stirring often until the crumbs get browned. It takes anywhere between 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat. Time may vary depending on the type/thickness of the pan you are using and the intensity of heat.

6- Once browned, add the following:

  • 1 to 2 dried red chili (broken)
  • 7 to 8 finely chopped garlic
  • 2-inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sliced chestnuts

7- Cook for 3 more minutes until garlic, and ginger gets cooked and lightly browned.

8- Now, add the prepared sauce to the pan.

step by step picture collage of making tofu lettuce wraps

9- Stir and mix the sauce with the tofu. Add salt and pepper to taste.

10- Let the tofu cook with the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is well absorbed by the tofu and it’s heated through. Remove the pan from heat.

11- To make the lettuce wraps, separate the lettuce leaves carefully. I have used butter lettuce here. Add the prepared tofu to the lettuce.

12- Top with chopped green onion and roasted peanuts. Serve immediately.

step by step picture collage of making tofu lettuce wraps

Serving Suggestions

You can serve these on top of lettuce of course. But here are more ways to enjoy these!

  • serve over white or brown rice for an easy lunch.
  • add to your salad for extra protein.
  • stuff inside a tortilla and make a wrap or quesadilla.
  • add to your noodles along with veggies.
  • top over your bread and make a sandwich.
3 tofu lettuce wraps arranged on a black plate with small bowls placed in the background

Tips & Notes

  • Use only extra-firm variety of tofu for this recipe. Soft tofu will not work.
  • Once you have made the filling, serve the wraps immediately.
  • You can add veggies like red pepper, onion and spinach to the filling to make it more hearty.
  • These wraps can be served with dips like peanut butter sauce, sweet chili dip etc.
  • Adjust the taste of the sauce to preference, add more of the chili sauce for a spicier sauce and add more of the brown sugar for a sweeter sauce.
  • Use tamari in place of soy sauce to make this gluten-free. The hoisin sauce that I used is gluten-free.

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Tofu Lettuce Wraps

tofu lettuce wrap topped with green onions with bowls of sauce in the background
Manali
These vegan tofu lettuce wraps are packed with flavor and make an easy lunch or dinner. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy tofu without much effort!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 279 kcal

Ingredients

  • 15 oz tofu extra-firm
  • 2 tablespoons oil I used avocado oil
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce 60 ml, use tamari to make the recipe gluten-free
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce 60 ml
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 30 ml
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek adjust to preferred spice levels
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 5 ml
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar add more to taste
  • 1-2 whole dried red chili
  • 7-8 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chestnuts finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • chopped green onion to serve
  • roasted peanuts to serve
  • 1 head butter lettuce

Instructions
 

  • Start by pressing your extra-firm tofu. Place 15 oz of tofu on a flat surface and then place a heavy object on top of it. I placed a cast iron skillet on top, you can also use a tofu press if you have one. Press the tofu for 15 minutes, this is important to drain all the excess moisture from the tofu so that it absorbs the flavors better, so do not skip this step.
  • While the tofu is being pressed, make the sauce. In a bowl or measuring jar, add the following: soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sambal oelek or any chili sauce of choice, sesame oil & brown sugar
    Using a wire whisk, mix it all until well combined.
  • Once the tofu has been pressed, heat a cast-iron skillet (or any other pan) on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to it and then crumble the tofu with your hands and add it to the skillet
  • Cook the tofu, stirring often until the crumbs get browned. It takes anywhere between 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat. Time may vary depending on the type/thickness of the pan you are using and the intensity of heat.
  • Once browned, add the dried red chili, chopped garlic, ginger and chopped sliced chestunuts. Cook for 3 more minutes until garlic, and ginger gets cooked and lightly browned.
  • Now, add the prepared sauce to the pan. Stir and mix the sauce with the tofu. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let the tofu cook with the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is well absorbed by the tofu and it's heated through. Remove the pan from heat.
  • To make the lettuce wraps, separate the lettuce leaves carefully. I have used butter lettuce here. Add the prepared tofu to the lettuce. Top with chopped green onion and roasted peanuts. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use only extra-firm variety of tofu for this recipe. Soft tofu will not work.
  • Once you have made the filling, serve the wraps immediately.
  • You can add veggies like red pepper, onion and spinach to the filling to make it more hearty.
  • These wraps can be served with dips like peanut butter sauce, sweet chili dip etc.
  • Adjust the taste of the sauce to preference, add more of the chili sauce for a spicier sauce and add more of the brown sugar for a sweeter sauce.
  • Use tamari in place of soy sauce to make this gluten-free. The hoisin sauce that I used is gluten-free.

Nutrition

Calories: 279kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 13gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1312mgPotassium: 297mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1447IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 175mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

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