Well we did it, you guys. We made it through the big eating holidays. Although it’s still pretty freaking Christmassy around here what with the tree, the stockings, the dozens of ginger-almond sugar cookies Chris decided to whip up last night. I think I’ll keep that guy around.
I know it’s rather unusual to get into detox mode before one of the biggest boozing events of the year, but let’s pretend that 2014 will be a year of stupendous planning and preparation — and I’m getting an early start.
(Contrarily, I’m also playing a bit of catch up this week. Like streaming delicious amounts of The Carrie Diaries and Revenge. I like my TV programs with a fatty dose of enviable style. As in, when I grow up I totally want to be the girl fashionably stuck somewhere between a teenage Carrie Bradshaw and a middle-class Emily Thorne. Oh, wait…)
So, continuing with the theme of detox and New Year’s Eve celebrations, let’s talk lettuce wraps. If you’ve ever been to a P.F. Chang’s or something similar, chances are you’ve had the popular chicken variation of these refreshing little gems. If you’ve dined Hong Kong-style, you might have even sampled the pork-and-dried-oyster variety — super tasty, though perhaps a bit more work than I’m prepared to dish out on, say, a weeknight. Or an evening when I’d much rather be getting my champs on with friends.
These little guys ain’t nothing more than a simple veggie stir-fry with savory baked tofu and an addicting duo of sweet hoisin and spicy sriracha. Scatter a handful of crisp scallions and crunchy macadamias over the top and you’re looking pretty fancy there, friend. And if you’ve maybe nogged one too many eggs this season, these taste real good going down. Snacky but still light with plenty of veg to lighten your load.
Put these alongside a platter of Veggie Joe Sliders and a display of Prosciutto Cheese Straws and you’ve got the beginning of a bash-worthy buffet, though they’re a great takeout fakeout all on their own. Wolfing them down while standing over the kitchen sink cleaning up dinner? Also ok.
Regardless, here’s to wrapping up 2013 in style (*snicker*). 😉
- 2 T sesame oil
- 1 small onion diced
- ½ lb carrots, shredded
- ½ lb baked season tofu, diced or crumbled (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained and diced
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce, plus extra for serving (see note)
- 1 T sriracha (or to taste)
- couple of tablespoons water
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 4-5 scallions, sliced thinly at an angle
- ½ cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1 head iceberg lettuce (or 2 heads butter lettuce)
- Thoroughly wash and leaf lettuce.
- Heat a large wok or fry pan over medium heat and add oil. Add onions and carrots and season with salt; saute until crisp-tender, about 5 mins.
- Add diced or crumbled tofu, water chestnuts, hoisin sauce and sriracha and heat through, adding a tablespoon or so of water to moisten mixture, if necessary. Season with pepper.
- Remove from heat and scatter with sliced scallions.
- Serve mixture in lettuce cups topped with macadamia nuts and extra hoisin sauce. Enjoy!
OH! before you go…
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Yummmm. Looks amazing and perfect for a detox-hungry tummy. (Like mine, which is now rumbling.) Happy New Year, Emily!
Happy New Year, friend! Lots of TRB recipes on my to-make list for 2014. 🙂 Cheers!
!!!! So exciting! Fingers crossed they turn out well! 🙂
These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them!
Thanks Melissa – Hope ya like ’em as much as we do!
Emily! These look so fresh and fabulous! Yum!
This looks delicious. I cannot wait to give’er a go. I will have to buy some tofu soon!
Oh hey, thanks new friend! Glad you feel inspired to bust out some tofu. It’s the bees knees.
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Plan on making this Friday! One of my favorite veggie-friendly/fun-to-eat options. Great to have a recipe written down. And really, what could ever be bad with Hoisin??
Totally – hand-held salad for the win! And yep, hoisin is totally a jack of all trades. Love it. Thanks for checking it out!
Why does it specify baked tofu? Is it okay to use tofu the way it is right out of the package?
Irene – I just like the extra flavor and denser texture of using a baked tofu. It also holds up well even being cut into small pieces because a lot of the moisture is removed in the baking process. That said, you could totally use regular tofu straight out of the package, but I’d choose a firm variety and not stir the mixture more than you have to so it doesn’t get overly crumbled. You might also have to adjust the seasoning just slightly. Let me know if you give it a shot and how it goes! 🙂
Thanks for the quick reply! I only asked because I don’t recall ever seeing baked tofu in any supermarkets before. Where do you usually find it or do you bake it yourself? I am planning on making it this weekend so I’ll definitely let you know how it goes! =)
I do a lot of the homemade version (you can search the blog for ‘baked tofu’ and find a couple recipes that explain the technique), but that’s because it’s tasty for so many things (and the storebought version is a little pricey – around $3-$4 per package, whereas you can make double the amount at home for about the same price). I know they have it at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods right in the fridge area where they keep their other vegetarian and sometimes Asian odds and ends (tofu, soysage, soyrizo, fake chicken strips, udon noodles…) — and sometimes they have multiple flavors, like original or teriyaki (which would be good here) or cajun. I’ve seen it at the major grocery stores here, too. When you see it, you’ll be like ohhhhhhhhh, that. Good luck! 🙂
Sorry for the late reply but I just wanted to let you know I that I found it and did think ohhhh thatt! haha…thank you and thanks for the recipe…came out great! =)
I knew you’d know it, Irene! 😉 So glad you enjoyed them!
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this was the best recipe ever. I made a peanut sauce on the side instead of the chopped macadamia nuts, and I added diced sauteed mushrooms and cilantro. SO. GOOD. Thanks for the baked tofu recipe, it made a difference!
Yay! So glad to hear that. We just made a variation on these last week, too, and I forgot how addicting they are! Glad you enjoyed them!