Winner, winner, tofu dinner, let’s make these 30-Minute Tofu Lettuce Wraps! They’re easy to make, adaptable and full of flavor.

The vegan lettuce wrap filling features crispy Korean tofu and fresh bites of cucumber. To round out all of the flavors, top each lettuce wrap with quick-pickled carrots.

Why I Love this Recipe 

First and foremost these tofu lettuce wraps are quick, healthy and flavorful, all things I want in a weeknight meal! I also love a good crispy tofu recipe. This Korean tofu is crumbled, not cubed, which creates crispy edges and flavorful browned bites. Plus, the craggy edges of the tofu hold onto the flavorful sauce better. 

Additionally, these vegan lettuce wraps are super adaptable (most ingredients can be modified) and keeps well as leftovers or for meal prep. 

Ingredients in These Vegan Lettuce Wraps

  • carrots, if you don’t have time to shred them yourself, pick up a bag of shredded carrots.
  • distilled white vinegar, you can also use rice or white wine vinegar.
  • kosher salt 
  • avocado oil or high heat oil
  • yellow onion, you can also use white or red onion
  • extra firm tofu
  • fresh ginger is best, but dried ginger can be used in a pinch
  • fresh garlic is best, but garlic powder can be used in a pinch
  • Honey or brown sugar
  • gochujang, a fermented Korean chili paste that’s sweet, spicy and savory.
  • red miso paste, or doejang (a Korean fermented soybean paste) which is more traditional but harder to find.
  • toasted sesame oil
  • English cucumber 
  • butter lettuce leaves
dark miso paste in a container
Red Miso Paste

Step-By-Step Instructions to Make Vegan Lettuce Wraps

  1. Shred the carrots then toss with vinegar, water and salt; set aside.
  2. Cut the tofu into two thinner planks and press between clean kitchen towels to absorb and remove excess water.
  3. Cook shredded onion in oil until golden brown. Meanwhile, crumble pressed tofu.
  4. Add the tofu to the skillet with the onion and cook until the tofu starts to crisp.
  5. Once the tofu starts to crisp, add the fresh ginger and continue to cook until tofu is very crisp.
  6. Stir in the garlic and cook briefly. 
  7. Add the sauce ingredients into the tofu and toss to coat. 
  8. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cucumber.

FAQs & Test Kitchen Tips

Can I substitute anything for miso?

Miso has a thick, creamy consistency (similar to thick nut butter) and a super savory, umami flavor. Nothing can replicate miso, but if you don’t have it or don’t have time to shop, you can use 1 tablespoon soy sauce in its place. Just know that the tofu filling won’t be nearly as saucy.

Can I double the Korean tofu recipe?

You can absolutely double the tofu mixture! I find one 14-ounce block of tofu feeds about 3 people. If you’re serving 4 and want to make the lettuce wraps more filling without doubling the recipe, you can cook up some basmati rice or brown rice and add a scoop or two to each lettuce wrap.

Where do I find tofu in the grocery store?

Tofu will be found in square plastic containers in the refrigerated area of the produce section or the health food area.

close up of browned tofu in lettuce cups and topped with shredded carrots

More Vegetarian Recipes to Try…

Did you make these vegetarian lettuce wraps? Let me know how it went—leave a comment and star-rating below. And if you snapped a pic, share it on IG and tag me @zestfulkitchen. I love seeing what you make!

Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Yield 3 cups (3–4 servings)
Category Dinner
Cuisine Korean
Author Lauren Grant

Description

Super savory tofu lettuce wraps that come together in just 30 minutes. Got a hungry crowd? Add some rice to stretch the filling a bit farther.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 3 medium carrots)
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, divided
  • Kosher Salt
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or high-heat oil
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon red miso paste or doejang
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1 head butter lettuce

Instructions

  • Combine carrots, ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon water and ½ kosher salt; set aside.
  • Cut tofu horizontally into 2 planks, wrap tofu in a clean absorbent kitchen towel and set something heavy on top (like a cast iron skillet), let tofu press 15 minutes.
    tofu slabs draining on a kitchen towel
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high until shimmering.
  • Grate onion on a large-hole box grater then, using your hands, gently squeeze out excess liquid. Onion should measure about ½ cup. Add onion to sillet with oil and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
    grated onion on a cutting board
  • Crumble tofu into ½- to 1-inch pieces.
    crumbled tofu in a large bowl
  • Add tofu and remaining tablespoon oil, season with salt then toss to coat. Cook without moving too frequently (this is how we’ll get it crispy), until tofu starts to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.
    crumbled tofu in a skillet
  • Add ginger and continue to cook until tofu is very crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Whisk together honey, gochujang, miso, sesame oil, and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar. Add to skillet and stir to columbine.
    crumbled tofu in a skillet
  • Off heat stir in cucumber; season with salt to taste.
    crumbled tofu and cucumber in a cast-iron skillet
  • Serve in lettuce cups with quick-pickled shredded carrots.

Notes

Fresh ginger is best here, but if you don’t have it you can use dried. Add 2 teaspoons dried ginger to the skillet when you add the garlic.
Same goes for the garlic. Fresh is best, but you can use garlic powder in a pinch. Use just ¾ teaspoon garlic powder.
To make these lettuce wraps go farther and serve up to 4 people, cook some rice and add rice to the lettuce cups.
Optional toppings: you can dress up these lettuce wraps even more! I love topping these with toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onions, and more gochujang or chili garlic sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cup fillingCalories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 10gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 1.5gSodium: 260mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 14g
Keywords korean tofu, korean tofu lettuce wraps, korean tofu recipe, tofu lettuce wraps, vegan lettuce wraps, vegetarian lettuce wraps
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
three lettuce wraps on a white plate. lettuce wraps toped with shredded carrots and chili sauce

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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