Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

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Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps are a light yet flavorful Asian-inspired dinner perfect anytime. Tofu and oyster mushrooms are baked on a sheet pan, then doused in a spicy almond-sesame sauce and served in lettuce wraps.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 1 hour
5 from 110 votes

A while back, I filmed a “what I eat in a day” type video for Youtube. Since I wanted to keep things casual, I did what I do most evenings for dinner: make a recipe on the fly with ingredients I wanted to use up. That’s how these Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps came about.

I’ve made crispy baked tofu before, I’ve made lettuce wraps before, and I’ve made variations of this sauce before, but I’ve never combined them together in one recipe. And let me tell you, the combination was straight tasty cakes.

My first time enjoying lettuce wraps was at P.F. Changs in high school. Then, as my palate expanded, I tried a few more varieties of lettuce wraps, including Larb Gai, minced meat served in lettuce wraps popular in Thailand and Laos (in my pre-vegan days, obviously). This version is inspired by all of the above but is of course vegan!

Why you’ll love these tofu lettuce wraps

Light yet filling. These lettuce wraps are light and refreshing yet addictively good and they don’t skimp on flavor. Unlike many lettuce wraps/cups, these are actually satiating! This combination makes them the perfect summer dinner!

Healthy yet indulgent. Like many tofu recipes, these wraps strike the perfect balance. Meaty mushrooms, chewy yet crispy tofu, a creamy spicy almond-sesame sauce – paired together, they taste indulgent. When paired with lettuce wraps, it’s the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent.

PS: Looking for another healthy yet indulgent lettuce wrap filler? Try my Vegan Egg Salad

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Weeknight-friendly. If you can multitask (i.e., make the sauce and soak/cook the rice noodles  while the tofu and mushrooms cook), this meal takes 45 minutes to make. Okay, you need to press the tofu beforehand, but that takes 1 minute. Okay, fine, 46 minutes!

And for another weeknight-friendly, East Asian inspired dish, check out these Gochujang Noodles. Or, if you want an East Asian-inspired feast, serve these lettuce wraps as an appetizer for my restaurant-style Tofu Stir Fry.

Flavor explosion. This recipe is so packed with flavor that I promise even the biggest vegan skeptics will enjoy it. Max is an alleged hater of tofu and mushrooms and he couldn’t get enough of this dish.

How to make tofu lettuce wraps

One thing I love about this recipe is the tofu and mushrooms can be cooked on sheet pans together in the oven at the same temperature. They both need roughly the same cook time so you could even cook them on the same sheet pan (hey, sheet pan dinner!).

For this recipe, however, the quantity of food is too great to fit on one pan, so I give the tofu and mushrooms their own pan. But, if you were cutting the recipe in half, you could put them on the same pan.

For the tofu, you’ll need extra-firm tofu and you need to press it before using. If you skip this step, your tofu will be water-logged and won’t crisp up in the oven.

To press the tofu, place the tofu on a cutting board lined with paper towels; place more paper towels on top of the tofu and weight them down with a heavy cookbook or a heavy skillet filled with a few cans of beans. Let sit for 20-30 minutes to remove excess water.

Once the tofu has been pressed, chop it into cubes. Then toss with a mixture of neutral-flavored oil (I use grapeseed oil), toasted sesame oil (one of my favorite ingredients), tamari/soy sauce and a pinch of salt.

Then, you’ll toast the tofu with three ingredients that provide the crispy exterior coating: arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), panko bread crumbs, and sesame seeds.

Panko are Japanese-style bread crumbs and I love how flaky and light they are. If you are gluten-free, you can find gluten-free panko.

Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

For the mushrooms, I used oyster mushrooms because they are incredibly meaty in texture. In fact, they are often used as a substitute for chicken. When paired with the chewy tofu, it feels like a truly hearty meal that even diehard omnivores would enjoy. Flavorwise, oyster mushrooms have a savory yet mild flavor and are not earthy like some other mushrooms.

Oyster mushrooms are not very dirty compared to many other mushroom varieties, so you just need to dab them with a damp towel. Then, slice of the tough woody ends. Use your hands to separate the bunches into individual mushrooms; for large mushrooms, slice them in half.

Toss the mushrooms with a bit of neutral flavored oil, salt, and pepper. Oyster mushrooms are flavorful that they don’t need much more!

If you can’t find oyster mushrooms, you can substitute shiitake mushrooms. Remove the caps and slice them, but not too thinly.

Spread out the tofu cubes and mushroom pieces on rimmed sheet pans and bake in the oven until the tofu is crispy and browned, and the mushrooms are beautifully golden browned.

How to make Spicy Almond-Sesame Sauce

This is one of my absolute favorite sauces. It’s adapted from a recipe in my cookbook for Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Sriracha Sauce, and it’s so good, I promise you’ll want to eat it by the spoon. The recipe takes inspiration from both Thai and Chinese cuisines, and it is packed with so much flavor.

It features some of my favorite ingredients: almond butter makes this sauce creamy and rich; the Sriracha gives the sauce a spicy kick; toasted sesame oil brings that irresistible and unique nutty fragrance and depth of flavor; ginger adds that lovely sweet-spicy zinginess; agave helps balance the spiciness and acidity of the vinegar; tamari brings the salty, umami flavors; and garlic, well, just makes everything more flavorful.

Speaking of vinegar, I typically use rice vinegar/rice wine vinegar in sauces like this, but I recently bought some Chinese black vinegar so I used it in this recipe. It’s more potent in flavor than regular rice vinegar, so I used half the amount.

Chinese black vinegar is also rice-based but it comes from black glutinous rice and it also contains other grains, like wheat. So, if you are strictly gluten-free, you should avoid it and stick to rice vinegar. The flavor is quite bold—almost smoky but a little sweet.

To make the sauce relatively smooth, I heat up the almond butter in the microwave to make it more stirrable. Then whisk in the remaining ingredients. If you want the sauce to be ultra smooth, just add all the ingredients to a food processor.

Tips for making this recipe 

1. To make things efficient as possible, start by pressing the tofu. After the tofu has been pressed, the rest of the recipe takes 45 minutes. Of course, you need to multitask.

Once you’ve put the tofu and mushrooms in the oven, start cooking the rice noodles. For some packages, that just requires you to soak noodles in hot water for 10 minutes, which couldn’t be easier. Also, take the time to make the almond-sesame sauce and get your lettuce wraps/cups ready.

2. If you like your tofu extra chewy, I recommend draining your block of tofu and then freezing it (wrap it in plastic or place it in an airtight container). Then, defrost/thaw the block of tofu in the fridge overnight before using (or speed it up by removing it from the packaging and microwaving it in 1-minute intervals).

Freezing creates small holes in the tofu, making the texture spongier. Once cooked, the tofu will be chewier and it’ll be easier to crisp it up. Freezing also helps the tofu absorbs flavors more, so you’ll get more sesame and umami flavors absorbed into the tofu. Obviously, this requires some advance planning. I have gotten into the habit of just leaving a block of tofu in the freezer.

Want to learn more about how to make tofu taste AMAZING? Check out my comprehensive guide to cooking tofu.

Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

How to customize these lettuce wraps

Lettuce wraps are super easy to customize, so feel free to play around with the components. Replace the sesame-crusted tofu with my crispy-yet-pillowy Fried Tofu (the Five Spice Fried Tofu variation in the post is stellar here), my ridiculously easy Simple Baked Tofu, or my hyper flavorful Marinated Tofu.

If allergic to nuts, swap the almond butter in the sauce with tahini. Or, feel free to use peanut butter if you’re a peanut sauce fan.

Garnish the lettuce cups with chopped roasted peanuts or cashews and thinly sliced scallions, or a finely minced fresh chili peppers for heat.

More East-Asian Inspired Recipes!

Hope you enjoy these Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps! If you do, please rate and review the recipe with your feedback below :)

Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

5 from 110 votes
Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps are a light yet flavorful Asian-inspired dinner perfect anytime. Tofu and oyster mushrooms are baked on a sheet pan, then doused in a spicy almond-sesame sauce and served in lettuce wraps.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Chinese-Inspired, Thai-Inspired
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4


Tofu and Mushrooms

  • 1 (14- or 16-ounce / 400-454g) block of extra-firm tofu
  • 16 ounces (454g) of oyster mushrooms (can substitute shiitake mushrooms)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (I used grapeseed oil, divided)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (if gluten-free, use GF panko or GF bread crumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or white sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 small batch of rice noodles (4 to 6 ounces, or 115 to 170g)
  • 1 large head of Bibb or butterhead lettuce*
  • Garnishes: chopped cilantro, chopped chives or scallions, and sesame seeds

Spicy Almond-Sesame Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons smooth, creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 to 1 ½ tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 tablespoon black vinegar, or 1 tablespoon rice vinegar**
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (so the tofu and mushrooms don’t stick to the pan).
  • Drain the tofu and press it (how to press tofu instructions are in the blog post under the section “How to make crispy sesame tofu and mushrooms”).
  • Prepare the tofu. Once pressed, chop the tofu into small cubes. Place tofu cubes in a medium or large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the neutral-flavored oil, the 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, the 1 tablespoon tamari, and 2 pinches of kosher salt. Toss to combine. Then add the arrowroot powder, panko, and sesame seeds. Gently toss to combine, using a spoon or your hands. Spread the tofu out in a single layer on the lined baking sheet.
  • Prepare the mushrooms. Clean off the oyster mushrooms with a damp towel. Then, slice off the tough woody ends. Use your hands to separate the bunches into individual mushrooms; for large mushrooms, slice them in half. Add the mushrooms to the same bowl used for the tofu; toss with the remaining 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on another lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the tofu and mushrooms in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven and toss the tofu and flip each mushroom over. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, until tofu is crispy and browned and the mushrooms are golden brown and blistered in some spots.
  • While the tofu and mushrooms are baking, cook the rice noodles according to the package. When they are done cooking, drain the noodles.
    1. You can serve the noodles whole, but for ease of eating, I like to use scissors to cut the noodles into bite-sized pieces.
  • While the tofu and mushrooms are baking, make the Spicy Almond-Sesame Sauce. Add the almond butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 25 seconds to help loosen it up. Then add the remaining ingredients except for the water and whisk well to combine. Then, stream in the water and whisk to thin out the sauce until pourable but still thick.
  • Assemble the lettuce wraps: Separate the lettuce leaves. Spoon a small amount of the cooked rice noodles on top, followed by the baked tofu and mushrooms. Spoon the sauce on top. Repeat with remaining lettuce and fillings.


* I love butterhead and bib lettuce, but if you can’t find those, you can use romaine or iceberg lettuce.
** If gluten-free, use rice vinegar instead of black vinegar, which contains grains. Also confirm that your rice vinegar contains only rice, not other grains (some varieties do).

Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 877mg | Potassium: 895mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1407IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 4mg

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182 comments on Crispy Sesame Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

  1. Ann

    4 stars
    Loved the baked tofu and spicy almond-sesame sauce! I used baby portobello mushrooms instead of shitake (16 oz. too expensive) and it was just fine. Since portobello mushrooms release a lot of liquid I cooked them on the stove first and when most of liquid was cooked off I baked as per the recipe.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Ann! It makes us happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe.

  2. Di

    Hi! I am thinking of doing these for myself, but as I live alone, I either have to cook one portion or have leftovers. So my question is, whether it will taste good the next day?
    Thanks in advance)

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Di, yes this will taste great the next day! Just keep the components separate.

      – The tofu and mushrooms can be reheated in a toaster oven or air fryer (or oven if you have neither)
      – the noodles can be stored in a tupperware on their own and eaten cold or heated up. If you want to heat them on the day of, cook them slightly al dente so they don’t fall apart when reheating
      – the sauce can be stored in its own tupperware container, and you may add a bit of water to loosen it up before serving
      – and of course wait to add all of this to the lettuce wrap until right before serving

      I hope that helped!


    5 stars
    I made these lettuce wraps and loved them. They were too spicy for my company, though. I’ll let everyone add their own sauce next time, haha.
    I smashed the Tofu first and then froze it for the crispy trick. After thawing there was still a lot of liquid so I smashed it again. Should I have done that. Our non-vegan friend thought they were croutons. Did I roast them too long? I thought it was delicious and I give it 5 stars.
    P.S. I love your videos.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sally, happy to hear you enjoyed the lettuce wraps! Thanks for sharing your experience with us :)

  4. Nancy Barnas

    Can I use with firm (not extra firm) tofu or would I be wasting my time? My vegan daughter is coming over tomorrow, and I was going to make something with the 3 pkgs of firm tofu in the fridge that expire Sept 2. I just put one package into the freezer for future use, and pressing the firm tofu now…

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Nancy, yes you can use firm tofu! Just make sure to press it for a while as to remove a lot of the liquid. It may not be as chewy or “meaty” as extra firm but should work just fine.

  5. Alex

    5 stars
    This was AMAZING!!! The flavours went so well together, and it worked even though we didn’t have all the exact ingredients (no panko, PB instead of almond butter, and rice instead of rice noodles). I will say this did not serve four in our house… two of us managed to basically demolish it 😅 I will definitely be making this again. So fun to eat out of lettuce wraps and less finicky than rice paper.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for your lovely review, Alex! I agree this dish is hard to stop eating once you’ve started- so filling, healthy and delicious!

  6. Ch

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe. I didn’t have any almond butter so I used tahini and it worked very well. I think I will use it a lot.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Ch, So glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe! :)

  7. Barbara

    5 stars

    This was a light and refreshing meal perfect for summer. Also easy to put together on a weeknight. The sauce was to die for. It’s a success when food gets my meat eating bf’s seal of approval :-))

    Next time, I’ll double the tofu and shrooms and halve the rice noodles (I used wheat and it turned out fine).

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Barbara, Thank you so much for such a fantastic review! Appreciate you taking the time!

  8. Geetha Kannan

    5 stars
    Love all your recipes .

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Geetha!

  9. Rachele

    Hi, this recipe sounds delicious! However, I don’t really like mushrooms, what do you think could be a good substitute?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Rachele, You could double the tofu (you should be able to fit two blocks on one large sheet pan without overcrowding). Or, you could chop some cauliflower or broccoli into small florets and roast those. A bit non traditional for lettuce wraps, but we personally love the flavor of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

  10. Sheri

    5 stars
    Made this several times and everyone has raved about it! I have subbed shiitake and portobello mushrooms and any combo of mushrooms seems to work well. Watch the amount of sriracha used depending on your desired level of spice. Every recipe I’ve made from rainbowplantlife or Nisha’s Vegan InstantPot book has been wonderful. A bit time intensive but results are totally worth the effort. Fabulous flavors. Great recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your review made our day, Sheri! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for trying out the recipes.

  11. Shar from Northern California

    I can’t wait to make this recipe. However, I have a few questions… I don’t have almond butter, so I only have peanut butter, sunflower, butter, and tahini, which one should I use in place of almond butter? Also, for the mushrooms and tofu, can I use an air oven can I use an air oven instead of a traditional oven? Is it 425 for the same amount of minutes?

    Can’t wait to hear from you.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We are excited for you to try them, Shar!

      As for the almond butter substitution, peanut butter would be the best substitute!

      And as for the air fryer, we haven’t tested this method at RPL kitchen. I would turn the temperature down to 400F and bake for 15 minutes, and then toss, and check every 5 minutes. It’ll be done sooner than a traditional oven. We prefer the end texture of baked tofu in a traditional oven, as the air fryer sometimes makes the tofu feel dry and off-puttingly chewy.

  12. betty modaff

    Could Chickpeas be substituted for the tofu, sound delicious
    , but was thinking of friends who do not enjoy the tofu.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Betty, you could try roasting some chickpeas in olive oil, a little toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper until crispy, but I don’t think the seasoning/marinade for the tofu would coat the chickpeas as well so I’d skip that. That said, this is a great recipe to convince your friends that tofu is actually delicious!

  13. Jade

    5 stars
    Can this be frozen? Everything except for the lettuce of course! 😂

    1. Jade

      Oops meant can everything except the lettuce be frozen.

    2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Jade! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t freeze these! I think you’d end up with a dry and unappetizing tofu chew and the mushroom texture would change for the worse too. This dish is best eaten fresh, enjoy!

  14. Deborah

    5 stars
    Love your blog and videos. I, too, am a vegan blogger who went vegan cold turkey in 2016 (like you) without looking back. I live in the hi desert, near where you grew up, and, although we are from a different age group, I am so happy on how successful you have become. You videos on Insta are so inspiring. I admire you so much and look forward to more recipes.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Deborah, what a sweet comment! I’ve forwarded the message to Nisha. We’re so grateful you’re a part of the community and hope you’ve enjoyed each of the recipes you’ve tried :)

  15. Alexis

    5 stars
    Delicious! The sauce is amazing.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Alexis, thank you so much for your kind review!

  16. ellie cave

    5 stars
    so good! sauce is amazing

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      I agree the sauce is to die for, Ellie! Thanks for your lovely review :)

  17. Anna

    5 stars
    So far, I’ve only made the tofu and I’m hooked!! Seriously delicious!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Anna, we’re so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review :)

  18. Adrienne

    5 stars
    As this is the second time I’m making this recipe within a month, I figured I had better leave a review! As you can guess, it is delicious and I’m sure it will become part of my regular rotation! After eating it as instructed as wraps the first meal, I just made it into a salad for the leftovers and for my second time around. The second time I also baked the tofu a bit less time, as I didn’t want it quite so crunchy. I also could only find king oyster mushrooms the second time, so I cooked them in a cast iron skillet with some water to start, then cooked the water off and fried until golden. They are a very dry mushroom, and I didn’t think they would take well to roasting. I’ve also added in some fresh mint and basil leaves into the salad the second time around, and these give it a bit of a Vietnamese flair. Stop reading reviews and go make this recipe, you won’t regret it!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Adrienne, it’s great to hear you had success with the recipe. The mint and basil addition sounds quite lovely! Thanks for the review :)

  19. Theresa

    5 stars
    Love these. So light.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome to hear it, Theresa!

  20. Issa

    5 stars
    I made this for myself (vegan) and my non vegan family thought it smelled so good they had to try it, and they liked it! it was really good and filling and relatively quick to make. I like meals that are quick and easy to make but also taste good which is hard to do. I really appreciate the effort and thoought Nisha puts into her recipes and her blog.

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