Lettuce soup with tofu and bok choy

Photo on 2013-05-02 at 19.31I first had cooked lettuce at a Chinese restaurant in Honolulu— and at first, I just assumed I was eating cabbage. Because why would you cook lettuce?

Because it’s delicious, that’s why. The trick is to just steam or blanche it— overcooking lettuce would make it very soggy. Also, I like slicing the lettuce into long ribbons— makes the lettuce seem a little like pasta.

For this recipe, I also tried out something new: tamari sauce, which is similar to soy sauce, but without wheat. (I know, wheat in soy sauce? But it’s so common!) Usually, I use Bragg’s liquid aminos, but while delicious, it can be a little pricy.

I’m going to try this recipe again in the summer— served chilled, I think it’d be the perfect thing to take the edge off of a hot day. Plenty of veggies, and the sesame oil adds a little bit of richness without feeling heavy. The inspiration for this recipe can be found here. There’s also a cute comic at the bottom of this recipe that inspired me to look for a lettuce soup recipe!



1/4 lb tofu, cubed

3 spring onions, sliced

1 carrot, diced

1 leek, sliced

1 head bok choy, de-ribbed and sliced into ribbons

1 head iceberg lettuce, sliced into ribbons

2-3 garlic cloves, mined

2-3 tbsp garlic, minced

2-3 tbsp tamarai (or gluten-free soy sauce)

5 cups vegetable stock or broth

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 cup bean sprouts or pea shoots

sesame seeds for garnish

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

I know this looks like a lot of veggies— but trust me, leaves cook down quickly.

Bok choy.
Bok choy.

1. Fry the cubed tofu in olive oil and tamari. Once the cubes have browned on several sides, remove from heat and set aside on paper towel to drain.

Fried tofu.
Fried tofu.

2. Put the stock or broth on to simmer in a large pot.

3. While the broth is heating, stir fry the carrots, garlic and ginger in a wok or pan. Add 1 tbsp of the sesame oil. After about 2-3 minutes, add the leeks. When the leeks are getting transparent, toss in the bok choy to wilt it.

4. When the boy choy is starting to wilt, take the pan off the heat and add the veggies to the simmering broth.

5. Add the tamari and the lettuce and over the pot. Be careful not to overcook it— lettuce only needs a minute or two to cook.

6. Take the pot off the heat and uncover it. Top with bean sprouts and sesame seeds.

Leeks, green onions and carrots gettin' stir-fried.
Leeks, green onions and carrots gettin’ stir-fried.

Confession: when I was shopping for ingredients, I couldn’t find bean sprouts, so I used pea shoots from the Ypsi Co-op instead.

Also: I apologize the quality of the last few pictures— my camera decided to quit on me mid-cooking.vegan witches

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