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Cumin Tofu & Shiitake Lettuce Cups
with Szechuan green beans

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
Cumin gives a Middle Eastern twist to traditional Chinese lettuce cups. Paired with some spicy green beans, the flavors of this dinner will transport you to another world.


Cumin Tofu & Shiitake Lettuce Cups:
  • Tofu, firm or extra-firm - 1 lb
  • Garlic - 3 cloves , minced
  • Lettuce, romaine (sub green leaf or iceberg) - 8 leaves
  • Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped
  • Onions - 1 , diced
  • Mushrooms, shiitake - 1/2 lb , sliced
  • Bell peppers, green - 1 , diced
  • Pine nuts - 1 oz
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
  • Hot or chili sauce (opt - choose your favorite) - 2 tsp
Szechuan Green Beans:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , minced
  • Green beans - 1 1/2 lbs , ends trimmed
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
  • Chili-garlic sauce - 1 tsp (sub any hot sauce)
  • Mirin - 1 tsp (sub other cooking wine or skip)
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp


  1. Tofu - Drain tofu by placing into a colander or strainer and placing a heavy plate on top. Drain for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Garlic (for lettuce cups and green beans) - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  3. Lettuce - Peel off leaves for lettuce cups (2 / serving). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Green beans - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Green onions / Onions / Shiitake mushrooms / Green peppers - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  6. Green bean Szechuan sauce - Mix together garlic (green beans' portion), soy sauce, hot / chili sauce, and mirin. (Can be done anytime ahead)

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  1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat for green beans. Add cooking oil (green beans’ portion) 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Return pan to medium-high heat and add oil and then green onions (you can reserve some of the chopped green parts for garnish), onions, and green peppers to heated oil with a sprinkle of salt. Saute for ~4 minutes, until aromatics are tender.
  4. Next add shiitakes and saute for another 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Fold in tofu and break up with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, cumin, soy sauce, and hot / chili 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.
  6. Divide tofu filling into lettuce cups and garnish with pine nuts (and green onions if you saved some). Enjoy with green beans on the side.



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