Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

There’s a popular chain of restaurants that is known for its lettuce wrap appetizers.  Recently I went there and was thrilled to discover that they now feature a vegetarian version.  I ordered this, and I devoured almost the whole plate. They were incredible.  Instead of chicken as the main source of protein, it used tofu as a substitute (of course, you can just substitute chicken in this one, if you prefer).  As soon as I tasted them, I knew that I had to find a way to make these at home and with my own little tweaks here and there.  And, so, after exploring the wonderful world of food blogs, I found a base recipe that I liked that would only need a few minor changes on my part to create the dish I had imagined.

Not only are these pretty healthy for you, but they are also very straightforward to make.  If you already have the oils and sauces on hand, the entire dish is probably less than $10 to make, and that includes an abundant amount of leftovers.  The dipping sauce is tangy and sweet and is a great accompaniment to the lettuce wraps.  The next time I make these, I will probably throw some cashews or peanuts in for more crunch and protein, as well as some other veggies.  But I will warn you, as with any kind of lettuce wrap, these can get a little messy, which I guess is part of the fun!  I hope you like them.

Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

Servings: About 4


For the dipping sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup warm water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon hot water

1 tablespoon yellow mustard (spicy mustard would be really good, too)

2 garlic cloves, minced

For the stir-fry sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

For the stir-fry

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 package of extra firm tofu (12.3 ounces), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, diced

1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms, diced

1/2 onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups rice noodles, cooked according to package directions

6-8 large leaves of iceberg lettuce


1. For the dipping sauce: In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water.

2. Add the the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice, and sesame oil. Mix well.  Cover and refrigerate.

3.  Immediately before serving the wraps, mix 1 teaspoon of hot water with the mustard and garlic.  Add to the dipping sauce, to desired taste.

4. For the stir-fry sauce: Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl.

5. For the stir-fry: In a wok or large saucepan over high heat, add the oils and heat until shimmering.

6.  Add the tofu, occasionally stirring, until lightly browned about 6-7 minutes.

7. Decrease the heat to medium, and add the water chestnuts, mushrooms, onion, ginger, and garlic.

8. Pour the prepared stir-fry sauce over the veggies and continue to cook until heated through, about 5-6 minutes or so. Remove from the heat.

9. In the meantime, prepare the lettuce leaves by placing the desired amount of rice noodles in the center of each leaf.

10.  Add the stir-fry mixture as desired and serve with the prepared dipping sauce.

Adapted from Wasibimon!

January 10, 2011 - 5:31 am

Blog is the New Black - Lettuce wraps are a favorite of mine, yet I’ve never made them veg style! Looks awesome.

January 10, 2011 - 10:35 am

Rachel - I think I know the restaurant you’re talking about. I used to love their lettuce wraps before I became a vegetarian. Now I’m going to skip trying their veggie version and make yours to enjoy at home!

January 11, 2011 - 7:59 am

Amalia - Hello there! I have good news!…you’ve been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award!!! Congrats!

So this is what’s up, I really love your blog and decided to give you this award, now you:

1. Make a post and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers so we can share the love
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

Always the best,
Amalia, from ButterSweetMelody

January 11, 2011 - 7:33 pm

Aku - These look delicious. And virtuous! Definitely going to give that dipping sauce a go, sounds so tasty.

December 5, 2011 - 1:11 am

Charlotte Ferreux - I love this recipe and blog…I posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out

Also, feel free to post you’re recipes or you’re favourite foodie tips on it whenever you like!

January 23, 2012 - 9:38 am

This Week’s Menu « - […] Vegan Lettuce Wraps Tuesday: Pad See-Ew – Rick’s Day to Cook Wednesday: One Pot Rice and Pork Chops […]

January 30, 2012 - 9:12 am

This Week’s Menu « - […] disappointed he never got the chance to show it off at work because they kept buying him lunch. The lettuce wraps were especially delicious, but I served them with hoisin instead of the dipping sauce in the […]

March 16, 2012 - 11:08 pm

Tofu Lettuce Wraps. | Almond Oats. - […] meat, I decided that these wraps would be vegetarian and researched several recipes, happening upon this one at The Curvy […]

May 30, 2012 - 6:19 pm

Recipe: Lettuce wraps « Field Grazing - […] tried a variation of THIS recipe.  Use whatever you have on hand.  Shredded kohlrabi and sliced radishes from the share […]

July 3, 2012 - 3:22 pm

This Week's Menu - Gamerwife - […] disappointed he never got the chance to show it off at work because they kept buying him lunch. The lettuce wraps were especially delicious, but I served them with hoisin instead of the dipping sauce in the […]

July 22, 2013 - 7:16 pm

steph70atl - Oh my…came across your Spicy Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce and before I left your website, because I NEED to go up and thought I’d check and see if you had a recipe for rice wraps, which is my newest thing, since I saw that Mark Bittman had them on the Today Show and had THEM wrapping them…LOL…but I never checked back to see what sauces he had for dipping…and there you had them!! So delighted!! CANNOT wait to try these!! Thanks a bunch!! 😀 Always like different options!!