Yesterday my google search for dinner was exactly this: “soy saucy and tangy”. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but something light, Asian, soy saucy, and tangy! This recipe in the search inspired my recipe for Chinese five spice tofu lettuce wraps. I especially loved the sauce recipe included as many recipes out there don’t add a sauce to lettuce wraps, something that I think is essential!
It took three markets to finally find the Chinese 5 spice which I thought was readily available everywhere. I had thought to just grind some up using the spices necessary (star anise, cloves, cinnamon, etc), but found that Szechuan peppercorns were a key ingredient and we didn’t have any. But get this, when I got home and looked at the bottle of 5 spice I finally bought, it didn’t even have any Szechuan peppercorns! Anyways the spice did give a lovely flavor and I didn’t have to grind anything 🙂
1/6 cup Maggi Seasoning (optional, I just really like the maggi flavor)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2-1 lime squeezed (depending on how juicy)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoon sambel olek
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Mix all the ingredients together and shake well (I used a mason jar).
1/4 onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon ginger minced
8 ounces mushrooms cut into little bites
2 6oz packs baked tofu (I used the teriyaki style sprouted baked tofu from whole foods) cut into tiny squares
1 5oz can water chestnuts drained and diced
1 carrot finely chopped and boiled until tender (I microwaved the carrots with a little water for 3 minutes)
4 green onions chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
12 big iceberg lettuce leaves
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Maggi Seasoning (optional, I just really like the maggi flavor)
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
1 more tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
- Get all your ingredients prepped (onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, tofu, water chestnuts, carrots, green onions, cilantro, lettuce…).
- Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a medium stock pan and add onions, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion starts to get translucent.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are sauteed (they will shrink a lot).
- Add the tofu, water chestnuts, pre-boiled carrots, sesame oil, soy sauce, maggi, hoisin sauce, sambal oelek, sesame oil, brown sugar, and Chinese five spice. Salt if it needs it.
- Cook for a 5-10 minutes to get the flavors to meld.
- Let cool and stir in the green onions and cilantro. I threw the pan in the freezer to get it colder. Of course then I chilled it TOO much and ended up microwaving it a little. Then we decided it was too hot again and back into the freezer it went 🙂
- Serve with big lettuce leaves and the sauce. It would also be really good with a little bean thread deep fried so that it is poofy, but I forgot this step!