Happy Sunday, ah finally a relaxing weekend, that means time to try some new recipes. I’ve been trying to stray away from the dishes I typically make and try some new, different things. I have had tofu occasionally in miso and egg drop soup but I can honestly say this was my first time having tofu as a main ingredient. I know it’s nothing new, I have just not got around to really trying it yet. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I simply thought why not. I picked up a package and as I was looking through recipes at all the different ways to cook it and with all the other ingredients in my fridge as well I decided lettuce cups were the way to go.
Frying the tofu was definitely a safe way to try tofu for the first time, it was surprisingly very good, crispy on the outside creamy on the inside. To me it didn’t have much of a flavor, but I imagine just like these cups you could pair it with just about anything. Not only was the crispy tofu amazing with the fresh cilantro, creamy avocado and the savory rice noodles, but these were so beautiful. They would make a great appetizer or small bite, sure to impress your guest.
As I mentioned I used rice noodles, avocado and cilantro in my cups but as always you could get creative and change you the ingredients you use. Fresh mango or pineapple, basil, carrots, cucumbers and peppers would be some other great additions. I paired mine with a very simple sauce of hoisin and soy sauce mixed together. Delicious.
Since I had never fried tofu before, let alone cooked with it, I decided to mise en place all my ingredients before I started the tofu. Which is smart either way because you want your tofu to stay warm. I cleaned the lettuce and tore off the leaves, washed and trimmed the cilantro, sliced the avocado and cooked my rice noodles. I had everything layed out and ready to go, even the sauce.
To fry the tofu drain and pat dry between layers of paper towels, I mean really dry it, since we are frying water is not our friend. Once you feel the tofu is dry enough cube into 1/2 inch pieces. In a straight sided pan or dutch oven heat up about an inch of oil, you don’t need a lot of oil, no need to waste any. Once the oil is hot drop in about half of your tofu cubes and allow to fry about 2-3 minutes, flipping if needed. Once crispy, place on a paper towel to drain and fry the rest of the tofu. I went ahead and salted mine lightly while they were still warm.
Now you can start assembling your cups, start with a leaf of lettuce, place a handful of noodles on top, a couple pieces of your crispy tofu, the avocado and sprinkle with a little cilantro! Continue until you have used up all your ingredients! Serve immediately.
- 10 - 14 oz firm tofu
- 1/4 cup canola oil for frying
- 10 leaves of romaine or butter lettuce
- 1 cup cooked thin rice noodles
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Cilantro, to taste
- Drain the tofu and press out any extra water with a paper towel. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Before you begin to fry the tofu, wash the lettuce and tear off 10 leaves.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, chop the cilantro, and slice the avocado.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high.
- Place the tofu into the oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, 2-3 minutes
- Place the fried tofu onto a couple layers of paper towel to drain off any excess oil. Continue until all of the tofu has been fried.
- Prepare the lettuce cups with some rice noodles, a few pieces of tofu, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado.
- Serve immediately.