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.