This is another one of those recipes that has lived in my head for awhile before I actually attempted it. As a fairly new vegan, tofu is a hard thing for me. Not so much the taste, but the texture. Here, we baked before stir frying and it makes all the difference to me. No more mushy tofu!
I wanted to do lettuce wraps (for photography purposes, I did it in a bowl) and fill them with Udon Noodles, veggies and the crispy tofu bites that simultaneously marinated and stir fried in a homemade asian orange peel sauce. I would just make more of that sauce next time around. It reduces down, so it almost caramelizes the crispy tofu. Everything is better caramelized. Caramelization = flavor!
Broccoli and carrots are par-cooked prior to adding the tofu to the wok. Udon noodles are very easy to find in your grocer’s asian section. They cook just like pasta. In a pinch, you could use fettucine. Udon just have a denser texture which I happen to love.
The tofu is first pressed free of all it’s water (simply wrap the drained 12 oz. block of extra firm tofu in paper towels, place it on a plate, set something heavy on it – like a cast iron pan – and top that with something heavy too. I used a large can). This sits for 15 minutes.
Then, we cubed it up and placed on a silpat (or parchment) lined baking sheet. Baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. I learned this method from Minimalist Baker’s Crispy Peanut Tofu recipe. While I may never be a huge fan, this has changed my opinion of tofu. I can tolerate the texture MUCH better now. So thank you, thank you, thank you Dana from Minimalist Baker. You rock! 🙂
I think next time, I would flip the tofu halfway through so it was slightly less crispy on just this one side but had a bit of crisp on both sides. Make sense? 🙂
We have four leaves of butter lettuce here and this recipe makes four nice lettuce wraps.
We saved a few orange rinds for garnish, but the flavor when they are stir fried almost candies them. Yum! I highly recommend stir frying them with the rest of the ingredients. We topped ours with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. This part is optional.
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Orange Peel Crispy Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- FOR THE MARINADE/SAUCE:
- 1/2 C Vegetable Stock
- 2 Tbl Juice of an Orange
- 1 Tbl Orange Zest
- 2 Tbl Hoisin Sauce be sure it's vegan - some brands are not
- 1 Tbl Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- Udon Noodles or Fettucine, if you can't find it
- 12 oz. EXTRA FIRM Tofu drained, pressed dry, cubed and baked
- Broccoli Florets par cooked
- Carrots par cooked
- Other Veggies of your choosing
- FOR SERVING:
- Butter or Boston Lettuce leaves
- Red Pepper Flakes if desired
- Orange Zest
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drain a 12 oz. package of extra firm tofu. It MUST be extra firm. Wrap in a few layers of paper towels and place on a plate. Top that with a heavy pan, such as cast iron and top that with something heavy as well. Allow to drain for 15 minutes.
- Cube the tofu into 1/2" pieces. Place in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, turning one or two times.
- Combine all ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- Boil water and cook noodles to package directions. Drain and rinse.
- Prepare the vegetables remembering to keep all ingredients approximately the same size so they cook in the same amount of time. You can steam or microwave the veggies for just a couple of minutes to par-cook them.
- Heat a wok or skillet on high heat. Add 1/4 of the sauce and cook the carrots. Add the orange zest.
- Add the remaining sauce and the baked tofu. Stir fry until almost caramelized. Add the broccoli in the last few moments of cooking.
- Place the noodles in the lettuce cups and top with the stir fry mixture.
- Finish with red pepper flakes and orange zest, if desired.
Kath Ogle says
Thankyou for this very tasty use of tofu. Served as lunch for my grandchildren who normally refuse to touch tofu, they enjoyed their individual packages. They went well with the mandarin juice which the children had made from fruit picked from our trees earlier in the morning.