Meatless Monday: Tofu Lettuce Cups


tofu lettuce cup

I created this recipe years ago at work when some (last minute, eek) weekend guests requested Vegan fare. This dish satisfies all the textures of the rainbow with the soft warm tofu filling nestled in a cup of cold crisp iceberg lettuce. Monday morning the guests requested the recipe and we’ve been making these ever since.

tofu lettuce cup fixings

Tofu Lettuce Cups

serves 2-4

1/2 red bell pepper, minced

1 small carrot, minced

1/2 a small zucchini, minced

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

3 scallions, minced

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 lime, juiced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

8 oz baked tofu (Thai or Teriyaki flavored options work well), finely diced

1 small can of water chestnuts, drained and finely diced

1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut in half and separated into “cups”

sriracha chili sauce for garnish (optional)

fried mung bean noodles for garnish (optional)

Prepare the friend mung bean noodle per the package instructions and separate the iceberg lettuce into cups and set aside. In a saute pan over medium heat saute the diced red pepper, carrot, zucchini and scallions in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Add the fresh ginger, tofu, hoisin sauce, lime juice and sesame oil to the pan. Turn the heat to low and gently mix until well incorporated and the tofu is warmed through. Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper if needed. Off the heat toss in the diced water chestnuts. Serve a heaping spoonful of warm tofu mixture into a cold lettuce cup and garnish with fresh cilantro, sriracha and a sprinkle of fried noodles. Serve with extra hoisin sauce too.

tofu lettuce cup close up

13 Comments on Meatless Monday: Tofu Lettuce Cups

  1. emily @ the happy home
    October 11, 2010 at 9:15 am (13 years ago)

    that looks so good! how do you keep the tofu from getting mushy?

  2. Halie
    October 11, 2010 at 10:16 am (13 years ago)

    Do regular grocery stores carry the fried mung bean noodles? Where do you get yours?

  3. applesandonions
    October 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm (13 years ago)

    Tahnsk for the questions gals!

    Emily- the baked tofu is VERY firm and dry and holds it’s shape well. If you don’t cook it too much it should hold up fine.

    Halie- you can buy the mung bean threads at most grocery stores in the Asian section. Make sure to grab some vegetable oil too to fry them in as you need about 2-3 inches of oil. They are really fun and easy to fry up, they puff to life like little white dragons in the hot oil. I get them at Whole Foods for work but I’ve seen them at Ralph’s and other such stores.

  4. azizah
    October 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm (13 years ago)

    YUM YUM YUM! Thanks Lydia miss you!!!! xx Z

  5. Megan
    October 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm (13 years ago)

    So I KNOW its ‘Meatless Monday’….but I made these with ground chicken and they were F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S. Recipe is definitely a ‘keeper’. Next time-may throw some chili oil in or somehow add the spice factor. Tasty meal!

  6. April
    October 13, 2010 at 7:54 am (13 years ago)

    Mmm, sounds good. I was going to ask the same about mung beans… I have wanted to try making kitcheree, but not being adventurous enough to find mung beans has previously stopped me. Between that and these lettuce cups, I definitely am going to track some down.

  7. applesandonions
    October 13, 2010 at 7:55 am (13 years ago)

    Miss you too Z!!! thanks for reading. Good luck April. xo, LE

  8. Megan
    October 13, 2010 at 8:53 am (13 years ago)

    Made these again for lunch yesterday (had left over ground chicken from previous day). They, once again, were fantastic. My toughest critic (mother in law) came over while we were snacking and she loved them as well! I used chili oil instead of the sesame oil along with a home grown hot red chili pepper which just threw in with the vegetables. It definitely added a ‘kick’ to the snack. Also used fresh mung bean sprouts instead of the puffy ones which, with the water chestnuts, gave it a nice fresh crunch! Thanks again!

  9. Chris
    October 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm (13 years ago)

    Nice knife work, Lyd

  10. applesandonions
    October 14, 2010 at 9:06 am (13 years ago)

    thanks Megan! I love the addition of the chili oil and am so happy they pleased your toughest critic 🙂

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