Vietnamese Tofu-Noodle Lettuce Wraps

March/April 2009

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Here we toss rice noodles with crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs, tofu and a light, sweet, tart and salty Vietnamese dressing flavored with fish sauce and wrap the mixture in lettuce leaves. For a vegetarian version, use reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari in place of the fish sauce. Pass the mixture, lettuce leaves and sauce separately so everyone can make their own wraps.

"I made this as written and was disappointed. Perhaps if I had heeded other reviewers' suggestions to use less water and/or add some hoisin it would have been better. As it was, I found the dressing to be very thin, and other than a...
Vietnamese Tofu-Noodle Lettuce Wraps

Makes: 4 servings, 2 wraps each

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  • 2 ounces thin rice noodles, or rice sticks (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 teaspoons fish sauce, (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 ounces firm or extra-firm seasoned tofu, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 8 large leaves green-leaf lettuce


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add rice noodles (or rice sticks) and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Gently squeeze noodles to remove most of the water.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl.
  3. Coarsely chop the noodles and combine in a large bowl with tofu, carrot, snow peas, basil and mint. Pour the sauce over the salad and toss to combine. To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup salad onto each lettuce leaf and roll up.

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient notes: Dried thin rice noodles (or rice sticks) are also called “bun” or “vermicelli-style” rice noodles. Look for them in the Asian section of well-stocked super markets or an Asian-foods market.
  • Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets.


Per serving: 197 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 2 g fiber; 747 mg sodium; 147 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (70% daily value), Vitamin C (20% dv), Calcium & Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat

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