Everyone loves this lettuce wraps recipe! This fresh dinner idea or appetizer stars a savory vegan filling and colorful veggies.

Lettuce Wraps

Need a fresh dinner idea or crowd-pleasing appetizer? Try this lettuce wraps recipe! We’ll admit, the concept doesn’t always sound, well…satiating. But these lettuce wraps are next level! The punchy, savory filling is infused with hoisin, soy sauce and rice vinegar, mixing savory tofu with cashews and green onions. Throw it into tender leaf of crunchy green lettuce with a few more colorful veggies, and it’s to die for! We polished off this entire tray in no time: and immediately wanted seconds.

Ingredients in this lettuce wraps recipe

Lettuce wraps are a food where a savory filing is wrapped in lettuce leaves and eaten with your hands. The concept originated in China then spread throughout Southeast Asia; they are particularly popular in Laos and Thailand. I was able to try Laotian larb wrapped in lettuce while visiting my sister in Laos a few years back, and it was one of the highlights of the trip!

Lettuce wraps have become popular in America in the past decades, especially with the interest in gluten-free and keto diets. This lettuce wrap recipe is not an authentic Asian recipe but a spin on the American interpretation of the idea. It’s a vegan recipe starring a tofu filling: and don’t let that sway you if you’re not a tofu fan! Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Hoisin sauce, soy sauce (or tamari), and rice vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Tofu
  • Cashews
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Green onions
  • Butter lettuce, aka Bibb lettuce (or Boston lettuce)
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Cilantro
Vegan lettuce wraps

Best type of lettuce for wraps

What’s the best type of lettuce for lettuce wraps? We have strong opinions about this, so hear us out. The best variety to use here is butter lettuce, also called Bibb lettuce.

  • Butter lettuce is a variety of green lettuce that has a soft, delicate texture reminiscent of the creaminess of butter and a mild, sweet flavor. This includes both Boston and Bibb lettuce. It’s often sold as a small head with the roots still attached to keep it from wilting, or in boxes of separate leaves.
  • Why does it work here? The delicate flavor, handheld size and circular shape of butter lettuce make it perfectly suited for wraps.
  • Are there any substitutes? You could try romaine hearts, but the shape is less suitable and the flavor is a bit stronger. Green cabbage is another options, but it’s tougher to bite through and has a stronger flavor as well. If you can, try to find butter lettuce!
Lettuce wraps

Tips for these vegan lettuce wraps

These lettuce wraps are vegan and made with tofu: and don’t let that dissuade you if you if you’re not normally a to

  • This vegan lettuce wraps filling pleases eaters of all kinds. You don’t have to be a tofu lover to love these! The filling tastes meaty and savory even without the use of actual meat. Give it a try and we promise you’ll thank us.
  • Look for extra firm tofu. You’ll want the type of tofu that can easily masquerade as meat. Avoid soft or silken tofu.
  • Keep in mind, the serving size is modest. Typically Alex and I find we can polish off one block of tofu between the two of us. So if you’ve got four very hungry eaters, double this recipe! Or make sure to serve it with a few sides.
Tofu lettuce wraps
Lettuce Wraps

More easy dinner recipes

This vegan lettuce wraps recipe is a tasty way to incorporate vegetables into your dinnertime rotation. You can also serve it as an appetizer if you like (if you’re serving a crowd, make sure to double or triple the recipe). Here are a few more veggie-centric dinner ideas:

This tofu lettuce wraps recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free (with tamari).

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Lettuce wraps

Easy Lettuce Wraps


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large or 4 small 1x

Description

Everyone loves this lettuce wraps recipe! This fresh dinner idea or appetizer stars a savory vegan filling and colorful veggies.


Ingredients

Scale

For the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch

For the lettuce wraps

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 to 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 head butter lettuce (aka Bibb lettuce), leaves separated, washed and dried
  • 2 carrots, julienned or shredded
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients. 
  2. Make the tofu crumbles: Drain the tofu container, then pat the tofu dry with a clean dish towel. Place the tofu in a large bowl and use your fingers to break it into roughly bite-sized crumbles.
  3. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the tofu and cook on medium high for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up large pieces into smaller crumbles with a spatula and stirring occasionally, until browned and lightly crispy and the liquid evaporates. (The exact timing depends on the tofu brand.)
  4. Add another drizzle of oil to the pan. Add the cashews, garlic, ginger and half of the green onions. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the sauce and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat. 
  5. To serve, place the tofu crumbles in the butter lettuce leaves. Top with the remaining green onions, shredded carrots, sliced radishes, and torn cilantro leaves. 
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Lettuce wraps, vegan lettuce wraps, tofu lettuce wraps

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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