Eating meals influenced by different cultures and cuisines is a lot easier than you'd think while on a plant-based diet: The key ingredients that make each meal unique to the region are spices or seasoning and sauces, which are mostly already vegan. In this Asian-inspired recipe, you will be using traditional ingredients that are commonly used in Asian cuisines.

This Crispy 5 Spice Tofu Lettuce Wraps With a Noodle Cabbage Slaw recipe is restaurant quality and eaters will have no idea that this dish is meatless and dairy-free. The tofu is marinated to soak up flavor and has a crispy texture, completely disguising that it's a plant-based protein. Also, if you're not a tofu fan, this recipe might make you reconsider, the fresh taste of herbs, spices, and sauce coating the tofu could fool anyone.

If you like the combination of sweet, spicy, and crunchy with every bite, you will love this recipe. Before you get started, be sure you have all the ingredients listed and almost most of them can be ordered on Amazon or Fresh Direct. Enjoy this meal for lunch or dinner!

Message From the Recipe Developer: "Honestly this recipe for tofu lettuce wraps came about because I am on a mission to include more plant-based ingredients into our diet. My husband is a real carnivore and usually is very skeptical when it comes to anything that remotely replaces meat. So I really needed to come up with a recipe that would take his taste buds on a journey of sweet, spicy, crunchy with a little bit of bite."

Recipe Developer: Rachel Gurjar

Why we love it: This recipe tastes so refreshing and is an easy way to switch up your traditional meals. Each bite is full of flavor and has a crispy crunch of tofu and lettuce. Fill up on healthy plant-based protein and fresh veggies for lunch or dinner.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

Crispy 5 Spice Tofu Lettuce Wraps with a Noodle Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounces pack firm tofu pressed on a paper towel to drain excess liquid
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 cups panko flour
  • 1 head Boston or bibb lettuce leaves cleaned and separated
  • Black sesame seeds for garnish
  • Lime wedges for garnish

For marinade

  • 1/3 cup vegetable or avocado oil plus more to brush or spray
  • 1/4 cup KA-ME Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons KA-ME Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons KA-ME Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger grated

For the peanut sauce

  • 4 tablespoons KA-ME Sriracha Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon KA-ME Tamari
  • 1 1 lime juiced
  • 1 garlic minced

For the slaw

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons KA-ME Sriracha Sauce
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 pack KA-ME Bean Thread Noodles cooked according to package directions
  • 1/4 purple cabbage thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400F. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade and whisk well to combine into a smooth liquid.
  2. Break the tofu into large chunks and marinade. Using a spatula, gently fold until all the tofu is coated in the marinade. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine panko and cornstarch. Working in batches, place marinated tofu into the panko and cornstarch mix. Coat each piece and place it onto the prepared sheet pan. Repeat until all the tofu pieces are coated.
  4. Spray cooking spray on the coated tofu. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

To make slaw

  1. Place mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, lime juice into a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. In another bowl, add noodles, carrots, cabbage, scallions, mayonnaise sauce.
  3. Using tongs, toss to mix until well incorporated.

To make the peanut sauce

  1. Add all the ingredients into a medium bowl.
  2. Using a whisk, combine to make a paste.
  3. Slowly add 3 tablespoons of water while whisking constantly to thin out the sauce and get a smooth consistency.

To assemble the cups

  1. Add ¼ cup of slaw onto a lettuce leaf, top with 3 pieces of cooked crispy tofu, drizzle with peanut sauce.
  2. Repeat until you have used all the ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve immediately with lime wedges.