Cumin Tofu and Shiitake Lettuce Cups
with Szechuan green beans
When this meal - a Middle Eastern twist on traditional Chinese lettuce cups - was first featured in 2016, it wasn't just the main dish that got rave reviews, but also the side dish. Our community loved the spicy wok-fried green beans that are served with the lettuce cups.
Cumin Tofu and Shiitake Lettuce Cups:
- Tofu, firm - 16 oz
- Onions, medium - 1 , diced
- Bell peppers, green - 1 , diced
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Lettuce, bibb, iceberg, or romaine - 12 leaves
- Mushrooms, shiitake - 8 oz , chopped (look for pre-chopped)
- Pine nuts - 1/4 cup
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cumin - 2 tsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
- Hot sauce (opt) - 1 tsp
Szechuan Green Beans:
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Green beans - 1 lb , trimmed
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp
- Mirin (opt) - 1 tsp
- Red pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp (sub any hot sauce)
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Tofu - Drain tofu by placing into a colander or strainer and placing a heavy plate on top. Drain for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic (for lettuce cups and green beans) / Green beans - Prep as directed. Combine onions and bell peppers. Store garlic and green beans in their own containers. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Make Szechuan sauce - Mix together garlic (portion for green beans), soy sauce (portion for green beans), mirin, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Lettuce - Peel off leaves for lettuce cups (3 / serving). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Mushrooms (if not pre-chopped) - Chop mushrooms. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat for green beans. Add oil (portion for green beans) and then green beans to heated oil. Saute for 10 to 12 minutes, until browned and blistered. Finish with Szechuan sauce and remove from heat. Season to taste with more salt and / or hot sauce.
- While green beans cook, heat a skillet or saute pan over medium heat for tofu. Add pine nuts and toast until golden for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Return pan to medium-high heat and add oil (portion for lettuce cups) and then onions and bell peppers to heated oil with a sprinkle of salt. Saute for ~4 minutes, until aromatics are tender.
- Next add shiitakes and saute for another 4 to 6 minutes.
- Fold in tofu and break up with a wooden spoon. Add garlic (portion for lettuce cups), cumin, soy sauce (portion for lettuce cups), and hot sauce (if using). Saute until everything is mixed through. Remove from heat and season to taste with more cumin, soy sauce, hot sauce, or salt.
- Divide tofu filling into lettuce cups and garnish with pine nuts. Enjoy with green beans on the side.