While living in Vietnam, I tasted a lot of different dishes flavoured with lemongrass. It’s a unique and refreshing taste. This recipe for lettuce wraps is inspired by the flavours of Vietnam, although I never ate lettuce wraps there. Another common combination is sweet and salty, and there is honey to balance out the saltiness. The recipe can be made with tofu or chicken, and also made vegetarian if you omit fish sauce.
1 head of butter lettuce
1 package of firm or smoked tofu, chopped into small chunks (I use the 225g package from Tofoo Co)
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
1 tsp sesame oil
1 large garlic glove, minced
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp roughly chopped coriander
1/2 cucumber, seeds removed, chopped into small chunks
2-3 bunches of spring onion, thinly sliced
water chestnuts, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
First, wash butter lettuce leaves and drain in a colander. Set aside.
Next, in a small saucepan, heat the soy sauce, lemongrass, sesame oil, garlic, honey, lime juice and chili flakes over medium-low heat. Then add the chunks of tofu and cook until warmed through, about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the coriander. Add salt and pepper to taste. In fact, I find that the soy and fish sauces are salty enough for me, so I just add pepper. Mix well.
Fill each lettuce leaf with the tofu mixture, then top with chopped cucumber and sliced spring onions. Wrap and eat. If you want more substance in the wraps, an option is to add some cooked rice vermicelli noodles (Vietnamese bun).
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