Ode to healthy Asian lettuce wraps. I got hooked on lettuce wraps many years ago when I was living in the US. Over the years, I’ve made several versions in my quest to recreate a plant-version of a favorite I used to get at a restaurant (to be unnamed). It was a natural transition after I perfected caulicarne for 4-bean chili caulicarne and tacos de cauliflower. Any excuse to eat water chestnuts with anything I can wrap in lettuce (or a corn tortilla) works for me.
When I create food combinations I try to stick to my essentials – uncomplicated recipes with uncompromised taste. Healthy Asian lettuce wraps fit both requirements perfectly. All the ingredients for the cauliflower mixture get tossed into the food processor and then off to the oven. I always lay parchment paper or silicon baking mat on the baking tray so that it’s easy to move the baked cauliflower, not to mention easy cleanup. Depending on your preferences and what you have on hand, you can make a few adjustments such as omitting the walnuts or doubling the garlic. If you increase the mushrooms (say double them), you may find that you need to increase the baking time as mushrooms have a notoriously high moisture content. Another thought is to add diced red chili if you want to spice it up.
Saucy and spicy – could it get better?
I use variations of healthy Asian sauces a lot. I’m notorious for doing a throw together lunch of some beans, or grains, cooked veggies (whatever’s in the fridge) with toss of hoisin, Sriracha or Ketjap manis. I ramped it up slightly for my healthy Asian lettuce wraps by using a combination of Hoisin, Sriracha, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Speaking of soy, you can go a few ways here by going for a low sodium version or gluten free Tamari. You’ll see me referring to Tamari often as a strong Tamari is my preference (although it’s a bit more expensive) because it’s far more flavorful (in my opinion) so a little goes a long way.
A transition is a process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. The transition of cauliflower from 4-bean chili caulicarne to tacos de cauliflower to healthy Asian lettuce wraps was a natural process. A few simple revisions and an entirely new taste emerges. Although it might appear too disruptive to revamp your food lifestyle, perhaps if we can approach it as making a few simple changes we can reach our goals through a more natural process. I tried for years to make a complete disruption to my diet and it never worked. I eased myself into plant-based eating by first cutting down on animal products, then going vegetarian, then vegan (still eating oil and processed foods) and now I'm where I wanted to arrive. Take the long road home, enjoy the ride. Peace.Print
Healthy Asian lettuce wraps my plant-based, oil-free addiction. Wrap this spicy-sweet cauliflower filling in your favorite lettuce leaves (think butter, iceberg or romaine). Now that's a wrap.
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- ¼ cup raw walnuts
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 small diced onion
- 1 T. minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 T hoisin sauce or Ketjap manis
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T rice vinegar
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 T Sriracha or other hot sauce
- 1 T soy sauce
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 1 can water chestnuts chopped
- 1 cup sliced green onions (scallions)
- 8 large butter lettuce leaves (romaine or iceberg will work as well)
- Preheat your oven to 3500 F (1800 C).
- Trim the cauliflower and cut it into small florets.
- In a food processor, combine the cauliflower, onion, mushrooms., walnuts, ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce and hoisin sauce.
- Process the ingredients until they cauliflower is broken down and all the ingredients are combined.
- Place the cauliflower mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes, then toss the mixture and bake another 15-20 minutes until it is browned.
Finish the dish
- While the cauliflower bakes, rinse the lettuce leaves and slice the green onions and chop the water chestnuts.
- In a large sauce pan, whisk together the Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, soy sauce and rice vinegar until it is well combined and heated through.
- Add the water chestnuts and the cauliflower mixture and combine well.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the green onions.
- To assemble the lettuce wraps, place about ½ cup of the filling on each lettuce wrap. Add extra Sriracha or soy sauce if desired. Wrap and chow and if you want to be civilized then use a knife and fork.
- Make extra sauce by combining ¼ cup hoisin sauce, 1-2 Tbsp. Sriracha, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar and set aside. Top off your wraps if you want to get really messy.
- I used butter lettuce in this instance, but you can use iceberg or romaine. If you like your lettuce really crispy then wash your lettuce leaves first and put them in an airtight container in the fridge for several hours or even overnight.
- Add ¼ cup of small diced carrots and/or celery when you add the water chestnuts to add flavor and bulk out your filling.
- Category: Burgers & Wraps
- Method: Bake/Stove top
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: Healthy cauliflower wraps