Hello, my name is Kate, and I’m a notorious over-stuffer. When I was preparing these salad wraps last night, I noticed the recurring theme. I overstuff tacos, burritos, bookshelves, closets, and worst of all, my calendar, in addition to salad wraps. I basically overstuff everything that can be overstuffed.
“Please, all the salsas.”
—Me at Chipotle as the employee struggling to fold my burrito over.
Yes, I can photograph four recipes in a single day, respond to comments and emails, go to yoga, go shopping, and yet go to bed at a normal hour.
lying to myself all the time.
All I want is everything. On a single dish, the entire smorgasbord. It’s draining. Additionally, it can be quite awkward. I’d want to apologize to everyone who has been attempting to email me over the past week. Embarrassing. Trying to consume a saucy, packed burrito in front of others? extremely embarrassing Very dirty as well. The finest place to eat burritos is in the seclusion of one’s own home.
Anyway. Make these salad wraps, please. Fill them up as full as you like. Although I had had a broad idea for a “tropical salsa supper” on my list of recipes, I didn’t have the inspiration for these wraps until I tried Ali’s Thai-style nachos at her rad loft. She drizzled some peanut sauce on top and added mango salsa to her nachos. Delicious!
The mango-peanut combo drove me a little crazy, and I immediately began planning recipes. I ultimately settled on these salad wraps after consuming mango salsa and peanut sauce in a variety of permutations all week. They are vibrant, filling, and bursting with Thai spices. They would make a delicious, light supper for the summer.
Even though I adore the salad wrap variation, feel free to dissect the recipe. The mango salsa could be served plainly with tortilla chips. Or go for a light appetizer and omit the tofu. Serve the salsa with the peanut sauce and rice for a delicious dinner (as shown here). Do you feel like a large green salad? Add salsa and peanut sauce to fresh lettuce as a garnish.
Use San-J brand peanut sauce if you’re in a rush to save time (it’s salty, but I prefer my homemade version). If you’re pressed for time, skip the peanut and coconut flakes garnish.
There are also a few choices available for the tofu. I’ve already posted my method for making crispy baked tofu (the trick is to toss the tofu with a tiny bit of oil and some arrowroot starch or corn starch). Recently, my buddy Dana of Minimalist Baker taught me a new technique for flavoring that crispy tofu. In essence, you bake the tofu first, then transfer it to a pan over heat and glaze it with sauce. Like a sponge, the tofu absorbs flavors! It’s quite cool.
It’s up to you, but the stove stage is just one more step. If you just wish to sprinkle the peanut sauce over the tofu, like I did in the top photo, it is enough flavorful. If you want to see what occurs when you cook the baked tofu and the sauce combined on the stove, look at the last two pictures.
Crispy baked tofu
- 1 (15 ounce) block of organic extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 ripe mangos, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ bunch (about 4) green onions, chopped
- ⅓ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- ½ lime, juiced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 small head of green cabbage (the smaller, the better) or bibb lettuce
- 2 tablespoons large, unsweetened coconut flakes* (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts (optional)
- To prepare the tofu: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain the tofu and use your palms to gently squeeze out some of the water. Slice the tofu into thirds so you have three ½-inch slabs. Transfer the tofu to a plate lined with a lint-free tea towel or paper towels. Fold the towel over one tofu slab, then place the other slab on top, then repeat with the last slab. Top with more towel and place something heavy on top (like a cast iron skillet) to help press the water out of the tofu.
- While the tofu drains, make the peanut sauce: Simply whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until well blended. If the flavor seems too bold or the sauce is too thick, thin it with a tablespoon or two of water. Set aside.
- To bake the tofu: Transfer the drained tofu to a cutting board. Slice each slab into four columns and four rows. Whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil and tamari, then drizzle it over the tofu and toss to coat. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch over the tofu, then toss the tofu until the starch is evenly incorporated. Repeat with 1 more teaspoon arrowroot starch. Arrange the tofu in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway, until the tofu is crisp and deeply golden.
- To make the mango salsa: Combine ingredients in a small serving bowl and toss. Taste, and add additional salt and/or a little splash of white wine vinegar if necessary. Set aside.
- To prepare the cabbage/lettuce: Slice off the thick stem and bottom ¼th of the head of cabbage/lettuce. Gently pull off one leaf at a time. Repeat until you have 6 to 8 cabbage leaves.
- If you want to go the extra mile with the tofu: Once the tofu has finished baking, toast the coconut flakes and chopped peanuts in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the coconut is golden on the edges. Add the tofu to the pan. Pour in ⅔rds of the peanut sauce and toss to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tofu has absorbed the sauce and has turned golden on the edges. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- To assemble the cabbage wraps: Divide the salsa amongst the salad wraps. Top with tofu and additional peanut sauce. Serve!