Thai Mango Cabbage Wraps with Crispy Tofu and Peanut Sauce

Light and healthy Thai mango salad wraps (gluten free and easily made vegan) - cookieandkate.com

Hi, I’m Kate, and I am a chronic over-stuffer. I recognized the theme while I was making these salad wraps last night. In addition to salad wraps, I over-stuff tacos, burritos, bookshelves, closets and worst of all, my calendar. Basically, anything that can be over-stuffed, I over-stuff.

mango salsa ingredients

“All the salsas, please.”
—Me, at Chipotle, as the girl behind the counter struggles to fold over my burrito.

“Sure, I can photograph four recipes in one day, then answer comments and emails, go to yoga, stop by the grocery store and make it to bed at a reasonable hour.”
—Lying to myself on a daily basis.

crispy tofu ingredients

I want it all, that’s all. The whole buffet on one plate. It’s exhausting. It can also be pretty embarrassing. Apologizing to everyone who’s been trying to reach me by email for the past week? Embarrassing. Trying to eat a saucy, over-stuffed burrito in public? Very embarrassing. Also very messy. Burritos are best consumed in the privacy of one’s own home.

Anyway. You should make these salad wraps. Over-stuff them all you want. I had a general “tropical salsa meal” concept on my recipe list already, but these wraps didn’t come to be until I tried Ali’s Thai-style nachos at her super cool loft. She topped her nachos with mango salsa and a drizzle of peanut sauce. Delicious!

cabbage and baked tofu

I went a little crazy over the mango-peanut combination and immediately started brainstorming potential meals. After eating mango salsa and peanut sauce in various forms all week (proof!), I finally arrived at these salad wraps. They’re colorful, filling and full of Thai flavors. They would make a wonderful, light summer meal.

Mango salsa - cookieandkate.com

As much as I love the salad wrap version, please feel free to deconstruct the recipe. You could simply serve the mango salsa with chips. Or skip the tofu for a light appetizer. For a hot meal, serve the salsa on top of rice with peanut sauce. In the mood for a big green salad? Top fresh lettuce with salsa and peanut sauce.

If you’re in a hurry, use San-J brand peanut sauce to save some time (it’s salty, so I prefer my homemade version). Skip the garnish of peanuts and coconut flakes if you’re really in a time pinch.

cabbage and baked tofu

You also have a few options when it comes to the tofu. I’ve shared my technique for crispy baked tofu already (the trick is to toss the tofu with a tiny bit of oil and some arrowroot starch or corn starch). I recently picked up a new way to infuse that crispy tofu with flavor, thanks to my friend Dana of Minimalist Baker. Basically, you bake the tofu first, then transfer it to a pan on the stove and pour sauce/glaze over it. The tofu soaks up the flavor like a sponge! It’s really neat.

The stove step is just one more step, though, so it’s up to you. The peanut sauce is plenty bold if you just want to drizzle it over the tofu, like I did in the top photo. Check out the last two photos if you want to see what happens when you cook the baked tofu and the sauce together on the stove.

Ok, I’ll admit that I’m an over-thinker in addition to being an over-stuffer. Make these wraps!

Mango salsa recipe - cookieandkate.comcabbage salad wrapsMango tofu salad wraps with peanut sauce - cookieandkate.comcrispy peanut tofuMango tofu salad wraps! Gluten free and vegan. cookieandkate.com

Thai Mango Cabbage Wraps with Crispy Tofu and Peanut Sauce
4.9 from 19 reviews
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer/Entree
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 8
 
Mango salsa, crispy baked tofu and an irresistible peanut sauce on cabbage leaves. These salad wraps are light and delicious! Recipe yields 6 to 8 salad wraps. See notes to learn how to make it vegan and/or gluten free.
Ingredients
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
Peanut sauce
  • 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
Mango pico
  • 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
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
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)
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. To assemble the cabbage wraps: Divide the salsa amongst the salad wraps. Top with tofu and additional peanut sauce. Serve!
Notes
Recipe inspired by Ali of Gimme Some Oven (check out her Thai tacos and Thai salad). Baked tofu from my brussels sprouts dish. Skillet tofu technique adapted from Minimalist Baker.
Make it vegan: Use either of the other two suggested natural sweeteners instead of honey
Make it gluten free: Use certified gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
Storage suggestions: These wraps keep well in the fridge, covered, over night. Sauce keeps well for up to a week in the fridge, covered.
Change it up: See suggestions in post. I'm pretty sure pineapple/peach would be great substitutes for the mango. You can substitute almond butter for the peanut butter if you'd like.
Prepare in advance: The baked tofu, salsa and peanut sauce can all be made in advance for easy assembly.
*Where to buy coconut flakes: Look for them in the baking section at Whole Foods, health food stores or well-stocked grocery stores. The brands I see most often are "Let's Do Organic" (green package) and Bob's Red Mill.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my summer rolls with peanut sauce, peanut sesame slaw with soba noodles and sweet corn salad wraps.

Comments

  1. says

    These look incredible! Your “most exhausting post ever written” turned out fantastic. And hilarious. I’m also a mega over-stuffer!

  2. says

    thanks for sharing the oven start of crispy tofu. I’m thinking the tofu absorbs less oil that way. I’ll be trying it next time I do tofu.

  3. says

    A) I love love lettuce wraps. All lettuce wraps ever. Or nearly all of them.
    Most certainly yours.

    B) Peanut sauce is something I’ve always kind of loved but also thought was super unhealthy so was wary of it. But maybe that was in college when I thought any ‘fatty’ food was bad but Lean Cuisines and fat-free sugar-free ice cream were ok. Love that your version has agave to sweeten it.

    • says

      I had some of those crazy ideas in college, too. Like, yogurt is good for me so Yoplait is good for me. Haha. I don’t think peanut sauce is bad! You can use almond butter if you want to feel more virtuous about it. :)

  4. says

    OMG this is my kind of meal, I love on lettuce wraps. These are just plain GORGEOUS!!!
    Also, yup, I too am an over-stuffer, probably more so with my life and the commitments, but still, very true with food, too! We should start a support group. But, I kinda don’t want to stop!

  5. says

    I think you need me to come over… the only kind of over-stuffing is when it comes to food. Besides that, I like to keep things clean. I don’t even save birthday cards for more than 24 hours. I know… what kind of person does that? This guy.

  6. says

    This looks so fresh and summery! I’m not a mango person… how do you think pineapple would be here? I definitely think burritos are best consumed at home. Went to chipotle one time and tried to get a burrito with beans x2, lettuce, fajita veggies, extra lettuce, all the salsas, and some more raw veggies. Those tortillas can STRETCH! Miraculously, it didn’t tear… but the last end did fall apart all over my shirt. So. There’s that.
    http://www.youtube.com/sparklesandsuch26

  7. says

    I’m a chronic over-stuffer too, and have had many tortillas collapse in effort to jam as much a possible inside! As for the making 4+ recipes, getting a workout in, groceries etc etc – that is a lie I tell myself pretty much every weekend as well! These wraps sound amazing, and I’m totally nuts for anything Thai. Sign me up!

  8. says

    I am TOTALLY an over stuffer, all the time! It seems like I never quite get to everything, so I have to resign to the fact that no, this isn’t all going to fit into one day! I can’t wait to make these!

  9. Jessica says

    omg…two obsessions of mine all in one recipe: mangoes and tofu. lol This is definitely going on my menu sometime within the next week :) One question…is it a big deal if I were to sub the sesame oil for a different oil? I am so bad at knowing which oils are okay to sub (because of flavors and smoke points etc.)

  10. says

    Ah, I overstuff everything too … you’re right, it makes for the messiest of times when it comes to burritos/wraps of any sort! But these look totally amazing and I love how that mango salsa looks. May the over-stuffing continue!

  11. Katherine says

    I made these today for lunch with chicken instead of tofu. They were delicious. Thanks for another great recipe!

  12. says

    You are so funny! I need to stop over-stuffing my calendar as well! Love all of these ingredients and the vibrant colors as well. Yum!

  13. Wendy says

    Just made these, and they’re delicious! I used what I had on hand and did romaine spears instead of cabbage. I will be making these again soon. They’re a treat for all of the senses! I instagrammed them (is that a verb yet?) and I apologize for the horrid picture (my outdated countertop is mustard yellow with brown grout…yep, and I’m not a photographer so that’s my story. Hope people get the gist :-) Love all your yummy recipes and humble and relatable posts. You’re rad.
    geddymama–my Instagram pen :-)

    • says

      Thanks, Wendy! Romaine sounds like a great sub. Thanks for sharing your instagram photo! I love to see my recipes in other homes. Thank you for the sweet compliments!

  14. says

    Kate, I am an overstuffer too. Sometimes I think of this as a good thing – lots of dreams that I’m chasing and trying to fulfill the requirements of being an employee, a girlfriend, a daughter, sister, friend, runner….and the list goes on, and sometimes it’s just plain exhausting. Those are the times that you need to sit back with a plate of something so delicious that your mind can only take one track and focus on the overstuffed lettuce leaves with their delicious sauce dripping down your hands.
    Thanks for this delicious recipe Kate, I can’t wait until mangoes are back in season :)

  15. Lydia says

    I made this late night – it was incredible!

    I did add a solid 1-2 T of Sriracha to the peanut sauce, since I like spicy food a lot, and it went well. Perhaps not better, just some extra spice!

  16. says

    Your week sounds delicious! I’m a big fan of any excuse to eat mangos and peanut sauce! Yummy! This recipe looks like a fantastic light summer meal. I’ll definitely make these soon and I’ll definitely overstuff them with gusto :-)

  17. says

    Hahahaha! Over stuffing can be a mighty fabulous disorder to have…these look beautiful! I’ve just woken up. I’m starving but don’t know what to eat – these look like such a good idea and I am going to full on over-stuff them. Great pictures as usual! Anything with mango makes me melt.

  18. says

    This looks delicious! Everything I love in one wrap (I love wraps, too!)… Something I easily could over-stuff myself with. I’m an over-stuffer, too ;) Well, when I take a look in my diary… Great food isn’t the only thing I over-stuff myself with.

  19. says

    I’m so down with overstuffing when it comes to food! And as for life, well, I do it, but unintentionally. And it never feels good.

    Mango and peanut sauce are going to be my new obsession as well…I can feel it!

  20. Laura says

    Made these for lunch today, and after the first bite said to myself, “holy sh*t”.
    they are SO GOOD.
    i am usually a little iffy on tofu (and i got firm by mistake and not extra-firm) but that didn’t stop me from consuming probably more than the suggested single serving amount :)
    i can’t recommend this recipe enough! thank you!!!

  21. Katherine says

    Love your recipes, and this one was amazing! But, how in the world do you get the cabbage leaves off so cleanly? I’m so impressed; I ended up making a little less wraps and a little more salad.

    • says

      Sorry to hear that, Katherine! I’ve had that problem before. I might have just gotten a great cabbage for cabbage leaves this time. It definitely helps to buy the smallest cabbage you can find, and chop off a good chunk of the bottom stem/leaves so they pull off easier. Glad you enjoyed the salad/wraps!

  22. says

    YAY, I’m not the only one! Chronic over-stuffers unite! I always end up over-stuffing my burritos, tacos and flatbreads (usually with salads and salsa, but still…) and then I complain when it starts falling apart. Argh. Slow learner! But when the filling is amazing, who can blame us? Like these cabbage wraps. I would want ALL OF THE FILLING. Crispy tofu is so, so good! Hope that you and Cookie are staying cool beautiful! Xxx

  23. says

    I made these on Sunday, and were AMAZING! They are definitely going in the menu rotation. And, now I have a new way to prepare tofu that doesn’t require standing over the stove. THANK YOU!

  24. cait says

    just tried this tonight- scrumptious! my husband & one-year old whole heartedly approved :) loved the finish of the baked tofu with the coconut & peanuts, and the salsa (i used peaches instead of mango) struck the perfect balance. a definite remake :) thank you!

  25. Danielle says

    This looks awesome! I have been following you for a while and I am living in Uganda now. Always happy to find a post on any of my usual websites that I can actually probably find most of the main ingredients to!! and that don’t require an oven (assuming I just pan fry the tofu, which I usually do anyway).

    Actually you would love the produce here. Crazy variety and the avocados cost 40 cents while being the size of your head!!

  26. Mia says

    I just made these for my family, and they were a huge hit. I’ve never been able to get crispy tofu down to a science, but your method was flawless. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    I actually made my own peanut butter for the peanut sauce (just took a bunch of roasted, unsalted peanuts and put them in a food processor until they became PB). Just a little extra step, but it was absolutely delicious.

    • says

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe, too! I like to make peanut butter in my Blendtec but I’ve been lazy lately. It is better than the store-bought stuff!

  27. Tracey says

    I made this tonight, and my husband couldn’t believe how good it was. We agreed we would eat it all the time. The tofu method was a game changer for us. Thanks!

  28. Melody says

    Just made these – WOW. So much flavor and the crunchiness of the cabbage wrap balanced it perfectly. Peanut sauce was to die for. Sharing with all of my friends! Thanks for the recipe!

  29. Erika says

    I’m such an over-stuffer that I ate this in a bowl because I knew there was no way a cabbage leaf could contain the amount I wanted. This is the second time I’ve made it but the first time I took the extra step with the tofu–I’ll never skip it again.

    This weekend also featured your pineapple fried rice and honey mustard Brussels slaw (at different meals). Thanks for making my life so delicious (and healthy).

  30. Beth says

    Wow, this was seriously delicious! My husband is a die hard carnivore and this dish had him trying to spoon up every last drop, including what we had originally planning on saving for lunch the next day :)

    I am going to try to use this peanut sauce in a few other dishes as well, it’s just that good!! We served the cabbage wraps with fresh grilled corn and felt like we were eating a meal beautiful and delicious enough to be featured on a magazine cover. Thank you so much for sharing!

  31. Tess says

    Oh my gosh these were so delicious! Light and fresh tasting but also surprisingly filling. Thanks for a stellar recipe :)

  32. AnneB says

    I made these when my husband was out of the country (he doesn’t like tofu) and they were amazing! Had leftover mango salsa and peanut sauce and did the same thing with chicken for him, when he returned. He loved them. Will be trying the Mango Spring Rolls next! Thank you!

  33. Nicole says

    These were awesome. I thought cabbage flavor would be overpowering, but it was an awesome bowl and other flavors took over!

  34. Frances says

    Well, this was a grand success @ my home! Especially when I added the masala was a great din din! Since it is just me & my hubby, this lasted. Something I wanted to share for a nice diner together.

  35. Amirah says

    I tried this recipe tonight, the first from your site. The only change I made was I subbed tofu for tempeh. Soo delicious! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes, thank you!

  36. Deana says

    I made these tonight and they are so delicious. A perfect summer meal. I also mustvsay that this is the first time myself and my boyfriend have actually enjoyed (even, loved) tofu! Yay for soggy free perfectly crisp tofu.

  37. Sam says

    Every recipe I’ve tried from your website is remarkable! I don’t even like mango yet these cabbage wraps were incredible..I could definitely drink the peanut sauce. You should try your hand at making dolmas sometime! I know it’s not really following the picnic summer theme, but dolmas are delicious when it’s hot out.

    • says

      Yay, thanks Sam! I’m impressed that you gave these a shot even though you don’t love mangos. :) I need to give dolmas another chance!

  38. Erin says

    Thank you so much for these delicious and easy to make recipes! My husband and two young children really enjoyed the fried rice and mango tofu lettuce wraps. I have bookmarked your site for more help in the future! Your site has really helped me as I navigate a full time career and eating vegetarian and gluten free.

  39. Marie-Laure says

    I just made this! Bought the fresh ingredients on my way home and the prep is relatively quick(I was very hungry when making it so time counts…). Dinner was ready in no time.
    I used baby gem lettuce instead of the cabbage and it was a bit messy to eat but the crispiness and freshness was a perfect match. This recipe has made my day, thanks Kate, it was spot on :)

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