I know a lot of people find tofu a bit hit or miss – when it’s nice and crispy it can be absolutely delicious, but if it’s cooked poorly, it can be really bad, with a slightly spongy, squidgy texture. If you’ve had trouble cooking tofu in the past, this is the recipe for you – nutty tofu lettuce wraps, served with a creamy peanut sauce. It’s impossible to get wrong.
When you cook tofu in big slabs, it can be so easy to cook it badly. But in these lettuce wraps, the tofu is crumbled up before being cooked, so the small pieces get nice and crispy. It’s then mixed with ground peanuts and cashews, red chilli and basil, to give it a beautiful flavour and texture.
Serve it up in a big green lettuce leaf with some fluffy rice and a drizzle of creamy peanut sauce, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, and pretty healthy, lunch.
I’ve been struggling to think of healthy meal ideas lately (I know, it’s literally my job to think of recipe ideas, but I was struggling) – so I was excited to remember that lettuce wraps were a thing. In some contexts, it seems a bit depressing to substitute a tortilla wrap for a lettuce leaf, but actually, with these Asian flavours, a proper wrap wouldn’t have felt right anyway. The big lettuce leaves work perfectly as big spoons for the tofu, nuts and rice, and make you feel like you’ve had something a bit different.
Don’t forget the creamy peanut sauce! It keeps these nutty tofu lettuce wraps nice and moist – and it’s made from peanut butter, so you know it’s going to be good. Just try to resist drinking it with a straw.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 200 g firm tofu, crumbled (~ 1 cup when crumbled)
- 2 tbsp cashew nuts and / or peanuts (I used half of each)
- 1 small red chilli, seeds removed
- Small handful fresh basil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 80 g uncooked white rice (~ 1/3 cup)
- ~ 8 large lettuce leaves
Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the crumbled tofu. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until slightly dry and crispy.
While the tofu is cooking, add the nuts, deseeded chilli, and fresh basil to a mini food processor. Blitz to form a coarse crumb. Add this mixture to the pan with the tofu, along with a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of soy sauce. Continue to cook over a medium-low heat for another 5 minutes, until the mixture is cooked to your liking.
To make the peanut sauce, add the sweet chilli sauce and peanut butter to the mini food processor (no need to clean it properly after using it for the nuts), along with a dash of water. Blitz to combine, and adjust the consistency with more water if needed.
Boil the rice in plenty of water until cooked, then drain.
Serve the nutty tofu mixture with the rice, in large lettuce leaves, drizzled with the peanut sauce.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 2 lettuce wraps, though I’d recommend serving up to 4 per person for a decent portion.
Got some lettuce left over? Stick it in a sandwich! I’d thoroughly recommend my tofu bacon BLTs: