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Vietnamese Lettuce Wrap

With a culinary tradition that some have called “French cooking in a Chinese kitchen” or vice versa, Vietnamese cooking is nutritious, delicious, and locally-based. Although some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar to many of us, other things are universal — here, a quick and simple stir-fry with root vegetables combines with lettuce and a variety of fresh herbs for the perfect summer lunch! This is one of several recipes we’ve enjoyed from this nice little paperback cookbook (and I promise it won’t have you thinking “tofu again!”). If you don’t have all the listed herbs, mix and match with what you have.

Source: Vietnamese Fusion Vegetarian Cuisine, by Chat Mingkwan. 2007. (Entered by Janice Matthews)
Serves: About 4, depending on their appetites
Vegan!

Ingredients
1/2 lb firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 T. stir-fry sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
1 T. Maggi seasoning sauce or soy sauce
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. vegetable oil, or more as needed
1 cup Irish (white) potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 head lettuce or cabbage, separated into leaves
1 bunch basil (Thai, lemon, or sweet)      View Available Products
1 bunch rau ram      View Available Products
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch dill "weed"      View Available Products
1 bunch fresh mint      View Available Products

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Combine tofu, stir-fry sauce and seasonings in a bowl. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more.
  2. Prepare the vegetable accompaniments -- clean the lettuce or cabbage and separate into individual leaves. Clean the herbs, trimming and discarding any tough stems, and separating the rest into small pieces.
  3. When it's time to eat, heat a wok or skillet over medium heat, add oil and both potatoes, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until potatoes are light brown and cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside.
  4. Add a bit more oil to the wok, and raise heat to high. Stir in onion and cook 1-2 minutes, until light brown. Add marinated tofu and reserved potatoes, stir, and cook until all is heated through. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the vegetable accompaniments.
  5. To eat, fill a lettuce leaf with the tofu mixture, and top with the fresh herbs. Wrap the leaf and eat by hand.

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