Crispy Coconut Tofu Lettuce Wraps (Vegan)

Did anyone else just eat an insane amount of carbs during quaratine? I won’t lie, I spent a lot of the time baking bagels, cinnamon buns, bread (I was already on that bandwagon before it was quarantine cool), lots of pasta, potatoes…if it was carby, I was into it. And while I still believe that carbs make life worth living and are essential to any kind of happiness, there came a time when things started re-opening up, everything on netflix had been watched, summer started coming, and you have to put down the quarantine breakfast wine and turn back into a normal functioning and healthy human being.

Lettuce wraps have been a weekly rotation for about a month now. There’s been chicken ones in a soy glaze, peanut ones, a chili garlic tofu, and oh hey! I even put my Citrusy Curry Tofu into a lettuce wrap! Delish! There is nothing you can’t put in lettuce wraps, they are crisp, refreshing, light but filling, healthy and super versatile. They’re basically just a super healthy burrito. Whatever you have on hand can go in a leaf of lettuce. Meat, tofu, beans, sauces, spices, rice, noodles, pickled veggies, raw veggies, cooked veggies – if it’s in your fridge, it can go in!

These coconut tofu ones are a fun vegan twist on one of my favourites -coconut shrimp- and they were awesome! A perfect, light summery meal. I used my air fryer to cook up my tofu, but these would work just as well baked. You could even omit the lettuce wrap part, and just serve the cubes of tofu as an appetizer with the sauce on the side as a dip! Boom you just have a new appetizer for your next physical distance dinner party. You’re welcome.

These are the slightest bit sweet, sinfully coconutty (*drool*), incredibly crispy and a bit spicy from the delicious chili sauce that we put on top and it’s cooled down by the fresh cucumber, lime juice and lettuce. How can something that amazingly delicious be that healthy? It’s crazy, but I’m not going to complain.

The hardest part of these is battering the tofu, and it’s not hard at all. In the air fryer, it takes 5-7 minutes to crisp up, but in the oven it will take a little longer so adjust your time accordingly. While the tofu is cooking, cut up your veggies, get your lettuce ready, and make the sauce. Not that many steps, like at all. Because these are so quick and easy to make, they are perfect for weeknights, and you can put in any veggies you have at home.

There has been some debate about what the best lettuce is to use, and I will admit, I think that the iceberg lettuce works great, they are naturally shaped like little cups and it’s wonderful…but I have had my issues trying to get the leaves apart without them tearing since they tend to get strangely mangled up into one another, and I’ve even had meltdowns trying to get the leaves apart. No biggie though, if it rips, just layer another piece of lettuce on top so that the sauce doesn’t leak out. I’ve seen people use butter lettuce leaves or even cabbage and I’ve tried romaine, which I personally really like because the leaves come apart easy and they’re like fun healthy taco shells or boats. But whatever you use is up to you! The lettuce debate I’m sure will go on for centuries to come.

If you’re looking something that’s easy, quick, delicious, and healthy…look no further. Seriously, stop browsing on the internet because you just found the perfect summer weeknight meal. They are:

  • Vegan friendly;
  • Super quick and easy to make, great for busy weeknights;
  • Healthy;
  • Versatile – add in whatever veggies you have at home (even pickled ones);
  • Crispy, refreshing, light, coconutty, sweet and spicy;
  • Easy to make into an appetizer – omit the lettuce and serve with the dipping sauce;
  • Oh yeah, they have an awesome sweet and spicy sauce that you can switch to your preference;
  • Fun and messy to eat in all the right ways;
  • Air-fryer or baking friendly. No greasy frying oil required;
  • Absolutely delicious and addicting!

Crispy Coconut Tofu Lettuce Wraps (Vegan)

Serves 2

Tofu:

2/3 cup unsweetened almond, cashew or coconut milk
4 tbsp. flour (you can use nut flour or gf)
Juice from half a lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1- 400 gram package extra firm tofu, pressed*
*Put cubed tofu on a paper towel lined plate, cover with more paper towel, another plate and place cans on top to press it for at least 10 minutes to get excess water out

Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce:

1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp. honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you’re gf)
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
Sriracha (to taste, if desired)

For assembly:

Lettuce leaves – something sturdy like iceberg or romaine
Thinly sliced cucumber (or veggies of your choice!!)
Lime wedges
Sliced green onion

Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes and press (instructions above).

Preheat your air fryer to 400 fht. or your oven to 400 fht. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, nut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper until smooth.

In a separate shallow bowl or plate, combine the coconut, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper until evenly mixed.

Working with a few cubes of tofu at a time, drop them into the batter and toss to coat.

Transfer the tofu cubes using a slotted spoon from the batter to the coconut mixture. Toss in the mixture and gently press the tofu into the coconut to coat it all on sides. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and continue to coat the rest of the tofu.

If you’re cooking this in the air fryer, like I do – then place the tofu in the air fryer and cook for 5-minutes until brown and crispy. In the alternative, bake them in the oven for 8 minutes, then flip each piece over for another 8 minutes, or until they are crispy and brown (timing depends on your oven!).

While the tofu is cooking, prepare the sauce by whisking together all the sauce ingredients until combined. Slice veggies, limes and prepare lettuce leaves.

Once the tofu is out of the oven, serve in the lettuce leafs with a sprinkle of green onions, fresh cucumber and a drizzle of the sweet chili sauce and a wedge of lime on the side.

Yumm!


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