Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hoisin Tofu Lettuce Cups

A fun local restaurant had "Larb" on the menu - never heard of it? Me neither! It turned out to be another Asian cuisine's version of tasty protein in a lettuce leaf (Thai version). The vegetarian option offered was made with crumbled tempeh but I got to thinking that tofu would have had been a good option too, better texture and ability to soak up the sauce. So of course it made an appearance at our dinner table soon thereafter.

A quick search through the blogsphere turned up several versions of the theme and there's no particular reason that this recipe caught my eye, maybe for it's simplicity. Adapting it just a little, this is the dish it produced. Such a hit! My beau's daughters are not huge fans of Asian cuisines, but there was lots of enthusiasm all around the table for this one!

If you are a regular reader you will notice the Mei Fun noodles on our pretty silver tray (free curbside score!) which do make a regular appearance at the table, 'cause they are just so fun!

Hoisin Tofu Lettuce Cups (adapted from Apple of My Eye)
(serves 4-5)

1 1/2 lb tofu, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine)
1 teaspoon black bean chili paste (Asian style)
1/4 cup water
head of romaine lettuce
lime wedges

Place tofu on a plate and invert another plate on top and place a weight on top to press tofu; allow to drain for at least 30 minutes. Dice tofu and set aside. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes until it is soft and just about to turn brown. Add tofu and mash with a potato masher or a fork to break up all of the cubes. Combine hoisin, soy sauce, mirin, chile paste, and water and pour over tofu and stir to combine well. Turn heat down to low and stir occasionally to allow tofu to begin to brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve with romaine lettuce leaves and lime wedges.


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