Tamari-Chili Tofu Lettuce Cups with Bang Bang Sauce
SAKARA'S FIRST CHEF IN RESIDENCE TABITHA YEH PAIRED MARINATED TOFU WITH CRISP VEGGIES, AND MADE MAGIC
Chef Tabitha Yeh has trained in some of the most renowned kitchens in the world, from Shanghai to Copenhagen, to where she currently resides in NYC. Her cooking draws inspiration from her heritage, travels, childhood, and active lifestyle. She spearheaded the development of eleven restuarants openings, and co-founded Funky Munky Energy, which offers functional clean snacks for every occasion. We're honored to have her kick off our Chef in Residence series, where we'll be pairing up with incredible global chefs and culinary artists to create limited-time meals that celebrate their unique perspectives while upholding Sakara's rigorous nutrition standards. Because creativity, joy, and health can all be interwoven in the conversation around food.
If you missed Yeh's delicious Forbidden Rice Noodle dish on menus this past week, no sweat. She generously offered another recipe that you can make for yourself—grilled tofu with bang bang sauce, all wrapped in crisp lettuce cups. This plant-rich dish is vibrant, hydrating, with the spice dial turned up for those extra-sultry, summer evenings.
- 14 ounces extra-firm organic tofu, pressed
- 1.5 tablespoons garlic, finely grated on microplane
- 1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated on microplane
- 8 Shiitake mushrooms, stem removed and sliced
- 1 cup red peppers, julienned
- 1 cup carrots, julienned
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 head Iceberg Lettuce (chop off stem and gently remove leaves for cups. Can also use bibb, baby gem, or Boston)
- 1/4 cup breakfast radish, thinly sliced on mandolin
- 1 cup scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 each-4 ounce pack of Thin Dried Rice Noodles
- 1 cup high-heat oil of your choosing
- 4 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon Yondu Vegetable Essence
- 2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
Bang Bang Sauce
- 1 cup Fabanaise (suggested: Sir Kensington)
- 3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
- 3 tablespoons Yondu Vegetable Essence
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Place tofu in between clean towels or heavy duty paper towels and place onto a plate. Set something heavy on top. Leave for 30 minutes.
- Place all tofu marinade ingredients into a bowl. Whisk to combine and reserve.
- Cut tofu into ¾” cubes and place into marinade. Let it marinade for 20 minutes and then gently remove from marinade and set onto tray until you're ready to start grilling
- Pre-heat grill to 450F. Place the grill skillet onto the grill and get it hot. Gently place the tofu onto the skillet and grill until all sides are well browned and a bit caramelized. Gently remove with tongs. Reserve and keep warm.
- Separate the rice noodles and cut into 4-5” long strips.
- Place a medium fry pan or wok on medium-high heat. Add oil and let it heat for 1 minute.
- Take a few pieces of noodles and dunk the ends into the hot oil to test the temperature. If the oil is hot enough, the submerged parts will bloom/ puff within a few seconds and turn into crispy noodles. If this doesn't happen, wait until oil is a little hotter and try again
- Place a manageable amount of noodles into oil and fry until it puffs up (this only takes a few seconds)
- Once the noodles puff up, gently remove them from the pan with tongs and place onto a paper towel lined plate or tray and reserve. This can be done the day before
- Place a medium fry pan or wok on medium high heat. Add oil to the pan. Once the oil shimmers, add ginger and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds
- Add sliced shiitakes and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes.
- Add red pepper and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for another 4 minutes. You want the vegetables to be cooked, but still have a tiny bite to them (so they should not be completely tender). Remove from pan, reserve, and keep warm.
BANG BANG SAUCE
1. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and reserve. This can be done the day before
- Place cleaned lettuce onto a plate. Add grilled tofu. Place a spoonful of mixed vegetables onto tofu. Garnish with sliced radish and sliced scallions. Generously drizzle on bang bang sauce and finish with crispy noodles. Enjoy.
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