Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vietnamese Lettuce Rolls with Spicy Grilled Tofu

Here's a fun variation on grilled tofu.

Start by slicing a 14-ounce package of firm tofu into 12 slices. Arrange the slices on several layers of paper towels, then cover with additional paper towels. Place a cutting board over the top, and place a cast-iron skillet on top of the cutting board (!) All of these layers ensure that the tofu will be firmer when you grill it. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour (I let mine stand for 45 minutes), then arrange in a single layer in a 13x9-inch baking dish.

In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice with 1/2 cup agave nectar (in place of honey), 1/4 cup thinly sliced and peeled lemongrass, 2 tablespoons soy sauce (preferably low sodium), 3/4 tsp. chile paste with garlic, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 3 minced garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then continue to cook for 1 minute. Pour over the tofu slices, cover, and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

Note: 1/2 a cup of lime juice is a lot of limes - about 8! Be prepared for a lot of squeezing.

Remove the tofu from the dish but reserve the marinade. Grill the tofu in an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan coated with cooking spray, over medium heat, for 3 minutes on each side.

To assemble the lettuce rolls, remove 12 outer leaves from a head of romaine lettuce. Cut off the bottom halves of each lettuce leaf and reserve for another use - you'll be all set for a lunch-time salad tomorrow!

On each lettuce leaf top, place 1 tofu slice, 2 teaspoons cilantro leaves, 3/4 tsp. chopped peanuts, 3 mint leaves, 3 (2-inch) julienne-cut strips of carrot, and 1 basil leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the toppings.

3 lettuce rolls plus about 1/4 cup of the reserved marinade makes a serving of 300 calories.

Cost:
firm tofu $2.39
limes $3.50
agave nectar $4.99
lemongrass $2.00
romaine lettuce $2.79
cilantro $1.69
peanuts $0.89
mint $1.99
carrot $1.06

The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html