vegan-lettuce-wraps.jpgSummertime is when my oven takes a well deserved break and goes into hibernation until fall. This is when salads, wraps, and outdoor grilling steps into the spotlight and the lighter fare of raw vegetables become the go-to options starting with this fusion of lettuce wraps with 3-sauces to give it an added punch of flavor. The mango salsa adds a bright zip of flavor while the mint sauce tickles your taste buds with a slightly sweet/spicy essence, and the peanut dipping sauce completes the ansemble with a burst of garlicky, citrusy goodness. Each work in concert to create a symphony of flavors to satisfy.  Finish it off with a cool refreshing scope of cantaloupe papaya ice for dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/4-cup oyster/black bean stir-fry sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp grape seed oil
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  • 1 (12- to 14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu (do not use silken)
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  • 2-oz cellophane rice noodles
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  • 8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1-cup tri-color shredded cabbage
  • 1/2-cup chopped cashews
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
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  • 8 large inner leaves romaine lettuce or butter lettuce leaves
  • 1/2-cup shredded carrots

Mango salsa

Mint Sauce

Spicy Thai peanut sauce

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together hoisin, vegan oyster stir fry sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.
  2. Press tofu between paper towels to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Refresh the paper towels and press again.
  3. Place cellophane rice noodles in saucepan of hot water, cover and let stand till soften
  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Once the oil is hot, crumble in the tofu, breaking it into very small pieces as it cooks. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, add mushrooms and continue cooking until any remaining tofu liquid cooks off and the tofu starts to turn golden, about 3 minutes more.
  5. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  6. Using the same skillet, add cabbage, water chestnuts, cashews, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and half of the green onions and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  7. Add tofu mixture, rice noodles, and sauce to vegetables and stir to coat. Cook just until sauce is warmed through, 30 to 60 seconds.
  8. Spoon mixture into individual lettuce leaves. Top with remaining green onions, and additional red pepper flakes as desired.
  9. Garnish with shredded carrots and serve immediately.