Here, strong red miso marinade adds bold flavor to tofu for tofu-lettuce wraps stuffed with bright, fresh herbs. You can use white miso instead, but the tofu will have a milder flavor. Sambal oelekis a garlic-chile paste that is commonly available in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets; if you can’t find it, use gochujang, a Korean red chile paste that is very flavorful but thicker and a little more intense than sambal oelek. The longer you let the tofu marinate, the more thoroughly the marinade will be absorbed, but 20 minutes is enough to get the flavor in!
Chile Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Smoked Salt [Vegan]
For the Chile Tofu:
- 2 tablespoons red miso paste
- 1 tablespoon plus
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted (dark) sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 ounces firm tofu, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick planks
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or gochujang
- 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Lettuce Wraps:
- 10 to 12 large and pliant lettuce leaves (like butterhead lettuce)
- 20 to 24 large fresh mint leaves
- 20 to 24 large fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, finely chopped
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Whisk the miso paste, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon of water together in a small bowl. Place the tofu in a single layer in a baking dish and use a spoon to dollop the paste over all of the tofu pieces. Rub the paste on the top of the tofu, then turn the pieces over and coat the other side. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
- Adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed sheet pan with apiece of aluminum foil and place all of the pieces of tofu on the prepared pan. Scrape any remaining sesame-miso paste into a medium bowl and set aside. Broil the tofu, flipping it once, until browned and potentially even slightly charred on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side (watch the tofu closely, as broiler intensities vary).
- While the tofu broils, make the dressing: Add the sambal oelek, mirin, lime juice, and salt to the bowl with the sesame-miso paste and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remove the tofu from the oven and use a spatula to immediately transfer the tofu to the bowl with the dressing. Gently turn the pieces over in the bowl to evenly coat them.
- Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter. Place 2 mint leaves and 2 basil leaves on top of each lettuce leaf. Set a piece of tofu on top of the herbs and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with lime wedges. The tofu will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Let it come to room temperature before serving, or reheat it in the microwave or a skillet until warmed through!