Lettuce cups: Fill them with something warm for a contrast with the cool, crunchy lettuce. Photo courtesy House Foods.
First introduced in Asian cuisines, lettuce wraps are now popping up on the menus of other types of restaurants and on the dinner table at home. We’ve really been enjoying this lettuce cups recipe as a light lunch or dinner.
Sent to us by House Foods America from an original recipe by Mutsumi Gonzales, it’s a vegan recipe that we tried in celebration of Earth Month.
But you can substitute the cubed protein of your choice—beef, chicken, pork, seafood—for the tofu.
RECIPE: TOFU LETTUCE CUPS
Crisp lettuce leaves
½ package (7 ounces) firm tofu, drained well and cubed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
Garnishes: shredded carrots, chopped cilantro
For The Sauce
1-½ tablespoon miso (red or awase)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1-½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sake
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon corn starch mixed with ¼ cup cold water
1. HEAT olive oil, garlic and tofu in a frying pan over moderately high heat. Cook until tofu and garlic are well toasted.
2. ADD all the sauce ingredients and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and cornstarch mixture, stirring until the mixture thickens. Mix in walnuts.
3. PLACE the warm mixture on lettuce cups, garnish with shredded carrots and chopped cilantro, and serve.
LETTUCE CUPS & WRAPS
Lettuce cups and wraps are very easy to make. The cups are just that—a base of lettuce topped with the filling.
Wraps put the filling inside lettuce leaves and roll them up.
You can fill them with an almost endless array of ingredient. Start with the ones that you use in burritos, pita, sandwiches, spring rolls or tortillas.
The contrast of warm, flavorful fillings with the cool crunch of lettuce is a crowd pleaser and a calorie saver.
HOW TO MAKE LETTUCE CUPS
Use large, pliable lettuce leaves. Iceberg is most often used, but escarole, red leaf lettuce, radicchio, romaine or large spinach leaves are options. Wash and dry lettuce thoroughly.