Recipe: Lettuce Wraps

This past Friday, M and I had a proper dinner-and-a-movie date night. One of my favorite things about going to the movies is the treats. It just isn't the same to take in a show without some popcorn and a Coke (and usually Reece's Pieces or M&Ms to couple with the saltiness of the popcorn). And since I didn't want to spoil our snack appetite, we opted for a light dinner. (Priorities, y'all.) I'd been wanting to try the Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu from my Appetite for Reduction cookbook, and this seemed like the perfect occasion to give this recipe a whirl.

Per usual, I made some substitutions right out of the gate. I opted for mushrooms instead of tofu because I thought the meatiness of the 'shrooms would be fantastic in this dish. (I still daydream about those mushroom lettuce wraps from our anniversary lunch). I also used romaine lettuce instead of iceberg because the leaves are nice and sturdy and create little boats o' yum. The recipe doesn't call for crispy noodles, but they're just delightful in lettuce wraps and I highly recommend the few extra minutes to prepare them.

Hoisin-Mustard Lettuce Wraps 
{Adapted from Appetite for Reduction}

1 package mushrooms, rinsed and diced to 1/2" (I used baby bellas)
2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 small onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red peper flakes (I added extra for spice)
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp prepared yellow mustard 

Crispy noodles
1 package dried rice noodles (in the asian section of most supermarkets)
1 cup oil to fry (I used vegetable oil)

To serve
1 head romaine lettuce

Prepare the mushrooms: Preheat a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 8 minutes until they're browned. About midway through, drizzle with the soy sauce and toss to coat. Place mushroom mixture in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat skillet over medium heat with the sesame oil. (I used the same skillet; no need to mess up more dishes than needed.) Saute the red pepper, onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 10 minutes. The veggies should be soft and browned. Add the mirin and let cook for about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin and mustard, and cook for another minute. Add the mushroom mixture to the sauce and toss to coat. 

Prepare the crispy noodles: Heat oil in a frying pan (or small sauce pan will do) for at least 1 minute over medium-high heat. Separate dry noodles and cut into 4-5 inch lengths. Gently drop a handful of noodles into oil, making sure you have a utensil ready to quickly flip them. No joke, they "bloom" in a matter of seconds, so have a plate with paper towel on which to place them ready to go, as well as some tongs or a slotted spoon for flipping and retrieving. Lightly salt the fried noodles, if desired.

Serve filling and crispy noodles alongside lettuce leaves to stuff like tacos.

We absolutely loved this recipe and can't wait to make it again! Prepping the veggies took about 15 minutes, but the assembly was quick otherwise (35 minutes start to finish). These are perfect for a light dinner or appetizer, but could also be served with some brown rice or hearty veggies for a more substantial meal.


  1. I'm watching carbs these days and this looks like a great little recipe to replace a sandwich.
    Thanks for sharing.

    The French Hutch

  2. those look REALLY good Natalie. I've always purchased and never made them. Looks easy. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh those look yummy and healthy!

  4. This looks incredible! I'll have to try this dish soon. You're right, pair this with rice and you'll get yourself a substantial meal.

  5. Mr. Taylor and his LadyTuesday, March 13, 2012

    LOVE lettuce wraps. yum!!
    xo TJ

  6. this looks amazing. I've been looking for more vegetarian recipes and this looks so delish!