The theme of the week for dinner has been quick and easy. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say that our meals have taken less than 10 minutes to prepare. It’s been stir-fried greens for the last couple of evenings–boring maybe, but it’s been my answer for getting dinner on the table with as little fuss as possible. I usually have more time towards the end of the week for more involved meals but until then, I love that my husband is easily pleased with simple stir-fries and rice.
I was fully prepared to serve the same meal for a third night until I dropped by Natalie’s blog this morning (Cooking Quidnunc) and saw her Turkey Lettuce Wraps. As soon as I saw her post I thought, “That’s it. That’s tonight’s dinner.” I made mine vegetarian, using shiitake mushrooms and tofu, both hearty ingredients so I wouldn’t miss the meat. And having never made lettuce wraps before, I tossed together some Asian pantry items that I already had and crossed my fingers that the concoction would bring everything together.
Mushroom flavored “oyster” sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar and a drizzle of sweet soy sauce actually went together nicely with the mushrooms, tofu and water chestnuts. The flavors aren’t as bold as you might imagine given the ingredients but they lent just enough flavor to make the dish interesting. Not too sweet either. The restaurant versions can be a tad sugary for my taste but this one isn’t. It’s just right.
* Check out Natalie’s blog for her turkey lettuce wraps–it’s also a healthier take on the restaurant version and it looks wonderful!
- ⅔ – ¾ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and diced (you can also sub cremini or button mushrooms)
- 1 block firm tofu, drained and cut in small dice
- 1 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, diced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons oyster sauce (I use mushroom-flavored vegetarian oyster sauce)
- 2½ tablespoons rice cooking wine
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- lettuce leaves (Romaine or iceberg)
- 1 tablespoon kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)(optional)
- Chopped scallions for garnish
- Recommended condiments: Chinese hot mustard and/or sambal oelek (chili sauce)
- Prepare the sauce by combining the oyster sauce, vinegar and rice wine in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet (I used my cast iron skillet). Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes or until the mushrooms are slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tofu and water chestnuts and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is heated through.
- Stir in the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes then turn off the heat. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with chopped scallions and serve with lettuce leaves. Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a first course.