So my friend Gemma and I were going to make dinner tonight and our conversation went something like this.

“What do you want to make?”

“I dunno.”

“It’s cold and rainy out.”

“Yeah…but I’m sick of cold weather food.”

“Me too.”

Somehow from that extremely productive conversation, we ended up at Asian tofu lettuce wraps. It was touch and go there for a minute (was it possible we just didn’t want to eat anything?), but mention peanut sauce and I’m in. We marinated the tofu in Gyoza sauce (you could make Gyoza sauce easily, but I didn’t have rice wine vinegar so I just bought it – it’s basically soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and cilantro) and sauteed it with ginger and mushrooms, and then filled the lettuce wraps with other veggies, some rice noodles, and a delicious spicy peanut sauce. They involve a bit of prep and chopping and whatnot, but they are totally worth it. I still managed to eat way too much, but at least it was tofu and not, you know, mac and cheese.

Asian Tofu Lettuce Wraps

1 package firm or extra firm tofu
1/2 c. cooked rice noodles
Gyoza sauce (you could sub with soy sauce if necessary)
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 c. sliced cremini mushrooms
1 carrot, shredded
1 T. minced ginger
1 head boston lettuce
1 lime

Spicy Peanut Sauce

3 T. smooth peanut butter
1 T. sesame oil
3/4 c. water
1 T. Vietnamese chile garlic sauce (or you could sub garlic and red pepper flakes if necessary)
1/2 t. sugar
dash soy sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, then whisk for 1 minute or so or until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and serve at room temperature. (Makes about 1 cup).

Squeeze excess moisture from the tofu and then slice into small cubes. Coat with gyoza sauce and set aside while you prep the other vegetables.

In a saute pan, heat a couple tablespoons of sesame oil over medium-high heat and then add the ginger, stirring until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and let cook until they have released most of their liquid. Add the tofu and let it sit – resist the urge to stir constantly. Stir every couple of minutes until the pan is dry, then let the tofu brown on all sides. Remove from heat.

The wraps are self-serve – fill one lettuce leaf with any combination of the tofu mixture, rice noodles, shredded or sliced veggies, lime juice, and spicy peanut sauce, and enjoy!