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The Best Vegan Lettuce Cups
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Better Than PF Chang's Lettuce Cups (and they're vegan too!)

At the start of each year, after all of that alcohol and sugar consumption from the holidays, it can be a  struggle to eat healthy.  I know it is for me!  Let's start this new year off with a healthy dish.  These lettuce cups are hearty enough for your most voracious carnivore, yet hit all the right notes for healthy eating!!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chili paste (adjust according to you taste)
  • 1 tbsp honey (sugar if you're vegan)
  • 1 knob fresh ginger (about 1" peeled)
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 250 g rice noodles (about 1/2 package)
  • 1 container extra firm tofu (not silken)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1/2 cup minced carrot
  • 1 tin (8 oz) water chesnuts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Lettuce leaves for wrapping (I like Boston or Romaine)
  • Additional garnish items like cilantro, chopped peanuts, grated carrots or lime wedges

Instructions

  • Prepare the peanut sauce first so it can sit and to let the flavours marry: blend peanut butter, 1/4 c soy sauce, 1/4 c sesame oil, 1/4 c rice vinegar, chili paste, honey and ginger  plus about 1/3 cup water together in a food processor until smooth and creamy; set aside.
  • Prepare the marinade: In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Cook your noodles in boiling water according to the package directions; drain and toss with about 2 tbsp sesame oil and set aside.
  • Prepare the tofu by pressing the tofu with a few paper towels to dry it out; cut it into small pieces.
  • Heat the canola oil in a nonstick skillet and add tofu; stir-fry until golden brown (about 10 minutes).
  • Now add the celery, carrot, water chestnuts and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the marinade to the pan and fry for another 3-5 minutes; transfer to a bowl.
  • To make cups, fill the lettuce leaves with some of the noodle mixture, then add some of the tofu mixture. Top each cup with peanut sauce and with additional with peanuts, cashews, cilantro, scallions, or lime
  • Enjoy warm or at room temperature (additional/left over peanut sauce can be frozen for another time!)