Firecracker Lettuce Wraps – I see you with your browned crispy tofu bits, your sticky brown rice noodles, your delicate lettuce leaves, and your creamy umami sauce. I see you and I love you and I want you.
These lettuce wraps are a big deal, because a) they taste, obviously, aaaamazing, and b) they are lettuce wraps that know how to actually keep you full. That’s right. I said ACTUALLY KEEP YOU FULL. None of this two-tablespoons-of-ground-chicken-in-a-lettuce-leaf-counting-as-a-meal business. I LOVE lettuce wraps. I also love to be full after a meal, and sometimes it is hard to find a lettuce wrap that can deliver. Enter this delicious mashup.
Why it’s a mashup:
- There are noodles.
- But wait, seriously, NOODLES. Brown rice noodles. Inside the lettuce. Like… noodle stir fry meets lettuce wrap.
- Also tofu, so this is vegan!
- But you know you can use other protein, right? Can be vegan, doesn’t have to be vegan. For our traditionalists, ground chicken is a winner, too.
- Everything in this lettuce wrap is drenched in my Favorite Of All Time sauce. From way back here.
Naturally I am a huge supporter of anything that involves wrapping up a essential noodle stir fry and delivering it straight from plate to hand to mouth. So yes, these are my new thing of the moment.
How to Make Our Vegan Lettuce Wraps (1 MIN):
Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Here’s what we’re working with: lettuce, tofu, sauce, noodles.
Pause here to stand over the pan and eat several big forkfuls.
And finally, your saucy masterpiece.
There is a 99% chance that you will end up with a firecracker sauce bomb all over your face / lap / fingers, but please, for the love, do not get all proper on me and start eating this with a fork. Grab a few napkins and a few friends who aren’t going to judge you for getting savage with it and just get in there. That’s the way to do it, pals.
HELLO YUM. Firecracker Lettuce Wraps that are happily vegan – with crispy tofu bits, saucy brown rice noodles, and a creamy sesame sauce.
For the Firecracker Sauce:
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chili paste (like sambal oelek) ++ for more firecrackery-ness
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- a small knob of fresh ginger, peeled
- a clove of fresh garlic, peeled
For the Lettuce Wraps:
- 1 container extra firm tofu (see notes)
- 4 ounces brown rice noodles
- lettuce leaves for wrapping
- peanuts, cilantro, lime for serving
- Noodle Prep: Soak your noodles in a bowl of lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes while prepping the rest of the recipe. You want the noodles to be soft and flexible.
- Sauce: Blend all the sauce ingredients together in a small blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Tofu: Press the tofu with a few paper towels to get some of the moisture out. Cut the tofu into small pieces. Heat a little oil in a nonstick skillet. Add your tofu. Stir-fry until golden brown. I usually let it sauté for at least 15 minutes. Add about half of the sauce to the pan. Stir-fry for another 3-5 minutes. As the sauce browns, it will form small crispy pieces around the tofu. Yum! Transfer tofu to a bowl.
- Noodles: Drain and rinse your noodles. Add another swish of oil to the pan and plop the noodles in. Add about half of the remaining sauce. Stir fry for just a minute or two until coated. Add a splash of water if it’s too sticky. Remove from heat immediately and toss with the tofu.
- Lettuce Wrap It Up: Fill your butter lettuce leaves with the noodle/tofu mixture (it’s okay if it’s sticky – you’re just wrapping it up in lettuce). Top with peanuts, cashews, cilantro, scallions, lime, and/or Sriracha if you want. YUM YUM YUM!
Protein Options: It’s super easy to swap out your protein here. My two favorites are tofu (as written) and ground chicken!
Soaking the Noodles: This is important. If you don’t soak the noodles long enough they will require more liquid in the pan to cook, which kind of makes them boil into a big glob. Edible? Yes. Awesome? Not really. Be sure to soak them until they are very, very soft – almost ready to eat soft.