Thai chicken lettuce wraps on a white plate.

Mango Lettuce Wraps with Crispy Coconut Tofu & Peanut Sauce – Alison Mountford

By Alison Mountford, contributing chef

ABOUT – Freezing the tofu then cooking it after it’s defrosted is the secret magic here, so don’t skip it! The ice crystals that form pierce the tofu and allow so much water to drain out after it’s defrosted. That makes it possible to get it super crispy and craggy, which holds the sauce and has a great texture.


Crispy baked tofu

  • 1 (15 ounce) block of organic extra-firm tofu – frozen then defrosted
  • 1-2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • Splash of the lime from peanut sauce
  • Dash or honey or maple syrup
  • Whisk together

Peanut sauce

  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar or maple syrup (use a bit on the marinade)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lime, juiced (some to marinade)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Whisk together

Mango salsa

  • 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
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Stir together

Everything else

  • 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)


  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and the peanut sauce ingredients in separate bowls.
  2. Freeze the tofu in the package, then defrost it. Open and drain. Squeeze it out then tear it into irregular shapes.
  3. Toss with cornstarch and salt. Place on a baking sheet with oil and roast at 425 for about 8 minutes, stirring once, until it’s golden brown and crispy.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and toss the tofu with marinade, chopped peanuts and coconut. Bake for another 3-5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  5. To make the mango salsa: Combine ingredients in a serving bowl and toss. Taste, and add additional salt and/or a little splash of vinegar or lime if necessary. Set aside.
  6. To prepare the cabbage/lettuce: Slice off the thick stem and bottom ¼ th of the head of cabbage/lettuce. Gently pull off one leaf at a time. Repeat until you have 6 to 8 cabbage leaves.
  7. To assemble the wraps: Divide the salsa amongst the salad wraps. Top with tofu and additional peanut sauce. Serve!

For a heartier meal – consider adding brown rice or noodles.


Downloadable, printable recipe, here:


Find other recipes from Alison, here:


Chef Alison Mountford is the founder of Ends+Stems – which is a meal planning membership and recipe website to reduce food waste. “Chef Alison” also hosts a series of online courses for easier weeknight meals and feeding picky eaters with less stress. Alison began in 2005 as a personal chef and caterer in San Francisco but she recently returned home to Rhode Island!

She is passionate about helping families eat well together, with less frustration. Alison is often hired as a speaker to share about household food waste, feeding busy families, and sustainability in the kitchen; she’s appeared many times on The Rhode Show and other podcasts and webinars.

Alison is also the Market Coordinator at Hope & Main – Rhode Island only culinary incubator – where she loves helping new food businesses expand their social media, brand, and increase sales at the farmer’s markets!