Even though I do enjoy meat and fish, I really love a good vegan meal. There’s something a bit exciting about taking a recipe that I’ve made with meat, and turning it into a completely meatless dish that not only works, but is delicious. That’s the case here, with these hoisin tofu wraps.
I have made this recipe with pork, but I easily converted it into a tofu-based meal that my meat and potatoes husband loved. He actually got up from watching Netflix and got himself another serving of it. My neighbor, who I regularly use as a tester for my recipes because she’s hyper-critical, also gobbled down a plateful. I’m confident that you’re going to love these just as much as they did. They’re crisp and fresh, salty and sweet. And, they’re done in less than 30 minutes.
Tips For Making These Vegan Tofu Wraps
There’s a couple of things to say about these wraps before we get started.
First, use ONLY extra-firm tofu (pressed or not pressed, whichever one). I made this recipe three times to make sure it was perfect, and the second time, I used firm tofu. Now, I thought ‘firm’ tofu would be, um…firm? But what I got was a pan full of mushy disgustingness that tasted bad and had the worst texture in the world. It all went into the compost. Nope. Only extra-firm tofu will do.
Second, you can add water chestnuts to this recipe, but I totally forgot to. Don’t you love how I’m super honest about how I was supposed to grab a can of them and didn’t remember to do that even though I went to the store twice today? Sigh. If you want to add the water chestnuts, dice them and add around 3/4 cup.
Third, I’m not big on exact measurements for some things. Hey, we’re not baking here, we don’t need to measure everything like a hawk. I know that it’s hard for some of you, but relaxing a bit about amounts (and tasting as you go, so you can adjust things) is the gateway to becoming more comfortable, and creative, in the kitchen. So that’s why you’ll see me calling for ‘one small yellow onion’ instead of ‘1/2 cup chopped onion’. I don’t really care if your onion is small small or medium small, because it’s going to have little to no effect on the recipe. The same with the pepper – one red pepper is one red pepper. Let’s not get crazy over these things, okay?
Fourth, use whatever wrap green you like. At first I tried Little Gem lettuce, which I have to say are a total racket: They’re super expensive and I’ve never liked them, so I’m not sure why I chose them in the first place. Maybe because they’re cute, but to me, they’re like the core of an iceberg lettuce. Meaning, flavourless and with too many hard bits. Collards work well, just slide a knife down the rib in the back to thin it so you can wrap the tofu mixture easily and not have a woody stem in the way when you bite into it.
Fifth, I used Soyganic Extra Firm pressed tofu for this recipe, which comes in a 400 gram package. If you can’t find this brand or a 400 gram pack of tofu – most come in 350 gram packs – use a 350 gram pack and go light on the soy and hoisin at first until you achieve the flavour you want. It’s not that much of a difference, but I want to ensure that you come out with the best result. Alternately, use a 450 gram package and add more soy and hoisin if you think you need them. Taste while you cook, people.
Sixth, don’t be afraid of cilantro stems. You can eat them, so don’t be wasting your time stripping every leaf off of its stem. Chop the stems with the leaves (you might want to remove some of the larger stems though) and use everything. It all tastes good.
This plant-based dish is so good, even the most die-hard meat eater will be asking for seconds!
- 1 400 g package extra firm tofu
- 1.5 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 red pepper cored and diced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 scallions white and green parts diced
- 1 handful around 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced finely
- 2 teaspoons freshly microplaned ginger (around 1.5-2 inches)
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons regular not light soy sauce
- Wrapping greens: collards prepared as above, butter lettuce, romaine
In a heavy skillet, heat oil on medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring often, until onions are softened.
Add red pepper and continue to cook for a few minutes longer. Onions should be browned and soft.
Add the hoisin and soy sauce, and stir well to evenly coat.
Crumble the tofu into the pan, and stir until all ingredients in the pan are incorporated and the tofu is evenly coated with the sauce.
Add the scallions and cilantro, cook for another 1-2 minutes, and remove from heat.
Serve with wrapping greens and most definitely, sriracha.