Before I became vegan, my mom would always make these chicken lettuce wraps that were a mock version of the ones they have at P.F. Chang’s. I LOVED them, they were one of my favorite dinners. So I knew that when I went vegan I would need to create my own recipe. Now keep in mind, this was when I was very new to being vegan and I wasn’t very experimental yet when I was cooking. I basically just made a sauce with 3 or 4 ingredients, poured that over black beans and rice, and ate it in a lettuce wrap. Don’t get me wrong, those tasted just fine. But now that I’m a little more comfortable in the kitchen and slightly more knowledgable about vegan food, I decided it was time to spruce up my recipe a little bit. This time, with tofu.
I know, it’s scary. I honestly didn’t even consider eating tofu for the first year or so that I was vegan. It looks very unappetizing and if you don’t cook it properly it tastes like mush. But recently, I’ve taught myself how to better prepare it and I’ve learned to really love tofu. It’s a great source of protein and it’s pretty filling. It’s also really versatile and you can flavor it anyway you want. I think my biggest piece of advice for you, if you’re new to tofu, is to just go into trying it with an open mind. Don’t expect it to taste like chicken or another form of meat, because it definitely doesn’t. However, if you’ve given tofu a fair shot and you still don’t like it, then feel free to use beans, or whatever else you’d like, in this recipe instead.
Now that my tofu disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get into the actual recipe 🙂
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 to 2 Tbsp ginger paste (or fresh, minced) – I like to use a lot because really love ginger.
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1/2 Tbsp water
- 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter (or PB2 powder works really well)
- 4 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce – use more if you like more spice
- 1 brick firm tofu
- Romaine lettuce
- The very first thing you need to do for this recipe is press your tofu. I’m not a fancy tofu expert that has a tofu press so I just use paper towel. Basically, just try to get as much moisture out of the tofu as you can. It will fry better this way.
- Next, you’ll want to make the sauce. To do this, simply put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a spoon or fork.
- Then heat a skillet to a medium heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil on it. Chop your tofu into cubes and then add to the hot skillet. Flip the tofu periodically to make sure each side gets brown and crispy.
- Now you’ll want to turn your heat down to a medium/low setting and pour on the sauce (I usually only use 3/4 of it and save the rest for my rice). Let the tofu marinade and cook with the sauce for a few minutes. The sauce will start to thicken and once the tofu absorbs most of it, you’ll know it’s ready.
- Now all you need to do is assemble. Take your leaves of romaine and add a couple of scoops of rice. Then add some of your tofu and left over sauce (if you saved some) and enjoy.
(I realize that this isn’t a good photo but I’m not a food photographer so plz don’t judge me)
I hope you all decide to try these — and give tofu a fair shot. Even if you’re not interested in becoming a full-fledged vegan or even plant-based in general, changing up just one or two meals a week can make a huge impact on our planet and your well-being. Anyways, have a great day and please try this recipe and let me know what you think 🙂