Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thai Basil Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Tofu? Seriously? Seriously, good. I was scared to try this. Even scared to the point that I had this beautiful appetizer sitting in front of me, and my head almost got the best of me! I just had to dive in and take a big bite of my lettuce wrap. After the first bite, I couldn’t stop! It was awesome, awesome, awesome. To be honest, tofu takes the flavor of whatever flavor you decide. i decided to whip up this tofu in a sweet asian way, and boy it had some nice spice to it as well. If you have never had tofu, this is a great place to start. (Don’t be scared by the list, I had most of these ingredients in my pantry!) O, and feel free to substitute chicken in to this recipe for the tofu if you just can't bring yourself to try tofu quite yet!

Thai Basil Tofu Lettuce Wraps
Printable Version

2 red bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons grated ginger
4 packages extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon Asian hot sauce, such as Sriracha
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 1/2 cups Thai basil, chopped
1/2 cup Thai basil, minced (regular basil may be used)
2 cups cashews, roughly chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
3 heads green leaf lettuce, cleaned and trimmed

Press tofu by removing it from the package and draining. Press tofu between two paper towels, changing paper towels as they saturate. Put on a wire rack above a plate in the refrigerator to continue drying out the tofu, for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.  Mix together the bell peppers and rice wine vinegar and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Heat the vegetable and sesame oils and add the shallots, garlic and ginger and saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add the tofu by crumbling into small pieces and saute for 15 minutes more.
In the meantime, whisk together the hot sauce, salt, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and hoisin and add to the tofu. Cook until the sauce thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the chopped Thai basil.
To serve, spoon the tofu mixture onto a piece of lettuce and top with the marinated peppers, cashews, scallions, and basil.

Serve 4 as an appetizer
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