Chinese Five Spice Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Chinese 5 Spice Tofu Lettuce WrapsYesterday 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 🙂

Tangy Soy Sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
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

    1. Mix all the ingredients together and shake well (I used a mason jar).

Lettuce Wraps
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
Salt
Sauce

  1. Get all your ingredients prepped (onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, tofu, water chestnuts, carrots, green onions, cilantro, lettuce…).
  2. 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.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are sauteed (they will shrink a lot).
  4. 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.
  5. Cook for a 5-10 minutes to get the flavors to meld.
  6. 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 🙂
  7. 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!

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