Asian inspired rice noodles are served in a crunchy lettuce wrap with crispy vegetables (red bell pepper, carrots and purple cabbage) , marinated pan-fried tofu and a creamy sesame peanut sauce .
My original thought was to make these as lettuce wraps/cups, but then way I cut the lettuce to try to maximize the “cups”…I actually had something a bit more like a' bowl". I thought, hey! that would be kind of cool! Eat the sesame noodles and all the veggie goodness out of the “bowl” and then have a few bites of crisp lettuce at the end to mop up all the extra peanut sauce .
You can pretty much do whatever you like here. Use smaller lettuce (or romaine leaves) for a more traditional lettuce wrap/cup . Or if you are feeling adventurous go ahead and pick up the whole bowl and take a big chomp .
Or,eat the contents and save the" bowl "for last (cut up the lettuce or fold it up taco style) to savor every last little bit of creamy sesame peanut sauce.
One thing is for sure…however you choose to tackle it…rice noodles +pan fried tofu + veggies + crispy lettuce + sesame peanut sauce= lip smacking goodness!
Sesame Noodle & Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- 15 oz. extra-firm tofu drained and cut into cubes
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 oz. vermicelli rice noodles or spaghetti noodles
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 cup sliced purple cabbage
- 8 leaves iceberg lettuce or romaine for lettuce cups
- dry roasted peanuts for garnish (optional)
- cilantro for garnish optional
For the Sesame Peanut Sauce
- ⅓ cups vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper depending on taste
- In a large ziplock bag, combine tofu cubes, soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the noodles and peanut sauce.(you can prepare the tofu ahead of time and let marinate for up to 12 hours)
- Cook rice noodles (or spaghetti) according to package directions. While noodles are cooking prepare the peanut sauce.Rinse and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine all ingredients for sesame peanut sauce; stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour contents of ziplock bag (tofu and marinade) into skillet and fry, turning frequently until tofu is thoroughly cooked and lightly browned on all sides ( approx. 15 min.)
- In the bowl with peanut sauce, combine noodles, tofu, red pepper, carrot, and cabbage. Toss to coat.
- Divide noodle mixture among lettuce cups. Garnish with dry roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro if desired.
Tofu, noodles and sauce can all be prepared ahead of time and stored in air-tight containers. You may want to warm sauce slightly to make mixing easier. Assemble just prior to serving.