Vegan Cashew Tofu Lettuce Wraps are high in plant-based protein, packed with nutrients, and budget-friendly. Ready in just 15-minutes. A healthy and flavorful weeknight dinner. Oil-free option.
Lettuce leaves are a light and healthy alternative to grain-based wraps, or rice. They're easy to use and versatile. I enjoy topping mine with this saucy, Asian-inspired crispy tofu with cashews.
What you need:
- Extra firm or super firm tofu
- Cornstarch or arrowroot
- Tamari or soy sauce
- Vegan hoisin sauce
- Sriracha (optional)
- Maple syrup
- Neutral cooking oil (optional)
- Green onions
- Iceberg or romaine lettuce
- Sesame seeds
See recipe card for quantities.
Use any variety of lettuce with large leaves, and a mild flavor, to wrap your filling.
I used super firm tofu for this recipe. Super firm tofu (Nasoya or Wildwood) is pre-pressed to remove excess liquid. This saves 20 minutes of prep time. Plus, it's higher in protein, holds its shape well, and browns more easily.
Extra firm tofu also works well, but you have to press it beforehand.
This is a no-chop recipe! No knife required –except for cutting the tofu. Grate the ginger and garlic instead of slicing and mincing. This adds even more flavor to the dish.
For the tofu:
Cornstarch adds a layer of starch to the tofu, which turns it crispy and golden brown upon pan-frying or baking. It coats the tofu, preventing it from becoming mushy from the sauce. (See below for cornstarch substitutes.)
Prepare the sauce before cooking the tofu. This way, it's ready to add as soon as the tofu is done cooking.
Add the cut scallions to the skillet with the cooked tofu. Grate the ginger and garlic directly into the skillet, and cook for one minute.
Add the desired amount of cashews before adding the sauce. (You can toast the cashews in a skillet beforehand to bring out even more of their natural flavor.) Cook for one minute more before adding the sauce.
Top the lettuce leaves with saucy tofu and cashews. You can also serve this dish with rice, quinoa, or a different grain of your choice to change things up.
🥬 Substitutions & Variations
- Lettuce - instead of lettuce, you can serve this dish with rice, or a different grain of your choice
- Cashews - substitute peanuts for cashews or omit them for nut-free
- Cornstarch - the cornstarch can be replaced with arrowroot or omitted entirely
- Hoisin Sauce -This sauce can be pricey, and is not always readily available. Use store bought teriyaki sauce instead. (See below for more substitutes.)
It's worth investing in a good quality microplane and a pair of kitchen shears. They will come in handy.
I often use a microplane for grating garlic and ginger. (I make fresh ginger tea using this method.) Kitchen shears are useful for chopping certain foods.
Refrigerate any remaining saucy tofu and cashews in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
💡 Top tip
For reheating this dish, add a little water to loosen the sauce. If the sauce becomes too diluted, add tamari or coconut aminos to taste.
Cornstarch is a white, chalky powder made from the endosperm found at the center of the corn kernel. It has several culinary uses due to its high starch content:
-As a thickening agent for soups, sauces, and stews.
-For crispy coatings instead of flour or breadcrumbs. Use for crispy tofu or veggies.
It can be omitted from the recipe entirely, but the tofu will be softer in texture.
-All-purpose flour: Use two tablespoons for every one tablespoon of cornstarch.
-Rice flour: Use two tablespoons for every one tablespoon of cornstarch.
-Arrowroot powder: Use the same quantity as cornstarch in the recipe.
-Potato starch: Use the same quantity as cornstarch in the recipe.
-Tapioca starch: Use two tablespoons for every one tablespoon of cornstarch.
Hoisin sauce is made from a combination of fermented soybeans, five spice powder, garlic, red chili peppers, and sugar. Most brands are naturally vegan.
It has a very distinct flavor which is hard to replicate exactly. However, these are some decent substitutes:
Barbecue sauce with a splash of rice vinegar
Black bean sauce with the addition of sugar, rice vinegar, five spice powder, soy sauce, and sriracha to taste
Soy sauce mixed with peanut butter, maple syrup, and rice vinegar to taste
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Cashew Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- 14 ounces extra-firm tofu pressed, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch divided
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce vegan
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon neutral flavored cooking oil or vegetable broth
- 6 green onions chopped
- ¾- inch ginger
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 cup cashews or to taste
- 1 head iceberg lettuce leaves or romaine, separated
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Prepare tofu: Transfer the tofu to a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon cornstarch until evenly coated.
- Make sauce: In a medium bowl, mix the tamari, hoisin sauce, sriracha, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons water. Stir well to combine.
- Cook tofu: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tofu for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring regularly.
- Cook aromatics: Add the scallions and cook one minute more. Grate the garlic and ginger into the skillet and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Combine: Add the cashews and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the sauce plus 2 tablespoons water. Mix to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until thickened enough to coat the tofu.
- For serving: Divide between lettuce leaves as desired.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.