Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps

4.77 from 13 votes
1 hour 35 minutes
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Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw are the fun, flavorful and healthful way to get your Korean food fix! Serve with Gochujang Eggplant on the side!

Photo of Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw on black plate.

I’m a huge fan of Korean food.  I can eat a jar of kimchi in one sitting!

Korean food is still catching on in this country and I predict it will continue to grow in popularity.  If you’re new to Korean food, the main characteristic of a classic Korean meal is the abundance of side dishes and condiments that are served (such as kimchi).

This recipe, Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw, has all those wonderful characteristics in a lettuce wrap.

In my not-so-humble opinion, tofu gets a bad rap.  First of all, it’s an inexpensive source of protein.  Second, tofu is a culinary blank canvas because it takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with.  To me it’s not any different than a plain piece of chicken or a plain piece of fish–it’s all in how you season and flavor it.

How to make Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw:

  • First, drain the tofu.  Because tofu is packed in water, it’s important to drain it well first.
  • To do that, blot it dry, then cut it into thick “slabs.”
  • Place it on several layers of paper towels, then place another layer of paper towels over it.
  • Set a baking sheet on it then place a heavy object such as a thick cookbook or pan on the baking sheet.  Let the tofu sit for an hour or so.  Be careful not to place too much weight on the tofu because you can crush it.
  • After an hour or so, simply cut into cubes for this recipe or any shape that works for what you’re making.
Photo of four pieces of tofu being drained on paper towels.
  • While the tofu is draining, make the spicy slaw.  For the slaw, I used a purchased “broccoli slaw” combination and added a little shredded cabbage to it.
Photo of spicy slaw in bowl being stirred with tongs.
  • Mix up the Tahini Gochujang Sauce.  I hope you fall in love with the Tahini Gochujang Sauce as much as I have!  Gochujang is a sweet, spicy, fermented chili paste that’s used a lot in Korean food and it’s gaining in popularity.  I’ve heard it referred to as “the new Sriracha!”  It pairs perfectly with tahini and you’re going to want to start using this combination on everything!
Photo of Tahini Gochujang Sauce in bowl with some on a black spoon.
  • When you have the slaw and the sauce made, brown the tofu with some of the sauce for flavor and color.  Mwaaaahhhh!
Photo of browned tofu in frying pan.

Serve with lime wedges, peanuts, brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.  Tofu made terrific!  It’s so colorful and healthful!  You may even turn a tofu hater into a tofu lover!

Close-up photo of Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw on black plate with lime wedges.

If you’re really not into tofu, chicken would be a great substitute!

Photo of Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce on platter and individual plate with lime wedges.

Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw!  Enjoy!

More Korean-inspired recipes:

For more delicious Asian-inspired vegan recipes, be sure to try my:

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One Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wrap with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw on black plate.

Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps

4.77 from 13 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Tahini Gochujang Sauce and Spicy Slaw are the fun, flavorful and healthful way to get your Korean food fix!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine Korean
Servings 3 -4
Calories 588 kcal

Ingredients
  

Tofu

  • 1 package (14-ounce) firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Slaw

  • 1 package (10-ounce) broccoli slaw
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage - approximately 1/4 of a small head
  • 1 bunch scallions - white and light green part only, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 jalapeno pepper - or serrano pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce - or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons gochujang
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari - or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced

For Serving

  • Boston lettuce leaves
  • Hot cooked brown rice - or brown rice noodles
  • Peanuts - optional
  • Lime wedges
  • Black sesame seeds

Instructions
 

Tofu

  • Drain tofu and cut into six large "planks." Place on paper towels. Top with more paper towels then place a sheet pan over the tofu. Place a heavy object such as a large cookbook or heavy bowl on the sheet pan to drain and squeeze as much water out of the tofu as possible. After 1 hour, cut tofu into cubes.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick skillet or saute pan over medium high heat. Add the cubed tofu and 2 tablespoons of the tahini gochujang sauce. Stir, then toss the tofu around to brown it.

Slaw

  • Combine broccoli slaw, cabbage, scallions and pepper in a bowl. Whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, oils, sugar, ginger and garlic. Pour over slaw ingredients. Add sesame seeds and toss.

Sauce

  • Whisk sauce ingredients together in small bowl.

To Serve

  • Place lettuce leaves on a platter. Top with brown rice, tofu, the slaw, some of the sauce and peanuts (if desired). Serve with lime wedges and garnish with sesame seeds.

Notes

Also great with shrimp or chicken!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2044mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.77 from 13 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I had crispy tofu along time ago and just loved it. I always wanted to make it but now I have a good recipe to try it with! Hopefully I can find some Gochujang at the Asian grocery store. Love that you used tahini too!

    1. Thanks, Denise! Gochujang is becoming pretty mainstream. Whereas I had a tough time finding it a couple years ago, my local Kroger carries several brands now. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    I had crispy tofu along time ago and just loved it. I always wanted to make it but now I have a good recipe to try it with! Hopefully I can find some Gochujang at the Asian grocery store. Love that you used tahini too!

  3. 5 stars
    I had crispy tofu along time ago and just loved it. I always wanted to make it but now I have a good recipe to try it with! Hopefully I can find some Gochujang at the Asian grocery store. Love that you used tahini too!