Saturday, February 23, 2008

Vietnamese Lettuce Rolls with Spicy Tofu

I'm not sure why I've never posted this recipe - I made it several times when I was still in college (when this blog began) and have tweaked it many times to make it "my" recipe. Yes, that's right. I used my skillz and adapted (created?) a recipe.

It's originally from Cooking Light, June 2003 (see original recipe Here). I liked the lettuce wraps from PF Chang's better, so I decided to start working with this recipe to make it more similar. I added finely chopped water chestnuts for that crunch that is prevalent at PF Chang's. I also added green onions, because everything benefits from green onions. I omitted the lemongrass (too much effort), the mint (too overpowering), and the carrots and peanuts (meh). I also used dried basil instead of fresh.

So here is my recipe. I hope you like it.

We like this photo so much we're going to put it on the wall.

Vietnamese Lettuce Rolls with Spicy Tofu
Adapted from CL, 6/03

1 (16-ounce) package water-packed firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (Sriracha!)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 green onions, minced
Cooking spray
1 can water chestnuts
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp dried basil, or some basil leaves

Put tofu block on a paper towel, and cover with another paper towel. Place something heavy on top and leave for about 10 minutes to get some of the water out of it. Cut tofu into small cubes and put in a bowl or baking dish.

Combine juice and the next 8 ingredients (juice through ginger) in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring until honey dissolves. Pour over tofu and stir to make sure it is all coated. Cover and let stand at room temperature 45 minutes to an hour.

Finely chop water chestnuts; stir into the tofu mixture. Saute in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat until heated through. Add green onions and basil and cook for 1 more minute.

Remove 12 large outer leaves from lettuce head; reserve remaining lettuce for another use. Remove bottom half of each lettuce leaf; reserve for another use. Spoon tofu mixture onto each leaf. Wrap leaf around toppings.

Yield: 4 servings

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