Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

  • Serves 3-5
  • Intermediate

Lettuce wraps are always one of my favorite things to order at Asian restaurants that have a vegetarian version on the menu. The crisp, refreshing lettuce is such a great vessel for the savory, spicy fillings – for me they are truly love at first bite.

*Fermented black beans are actually black soybeans, and are commonly used in Chinese cooking. They have a deep, savory flavor, and can often be found in Asian grocery stores or online.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spread tempeh cubes on a baking tray with a small amount of grape seed or coconut oil, just to prevent sticking.
  3. Bake for approx. 20 min or until golden brown, turning once.
  4. Remove browned tempeh cubes, and set aside.
  5. In a sauté pan heat a small amount of coconut oil over medium.
  6. Add onions and carrots and sauté for 4-5 min until soft.
  7. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan add shallots, garlic and ginger, and sauté for 3-4 min.
  8. *If they start to stick to the pan, add a little bit of vegetable broth and stir.
  9. Next add the tamari, vegetable broth, fermented black beans, agave and chili sauce, and bring to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Add back in the carrots and onions, along with the tempeh and water chestnuts, and bring up to heat.
  11. Stir in half of the chopped scallion, and reserve the other half for garnish. Remove from heat.
  12. Serve topped with Sesame Pickled Cucumber, and wrapped in Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves.

Special Sauce (optional)

  1. Stir all ingredients together and eat with the tempeh lettuce wraps.
  2. Can be dipped in or drizzled over.
  • Jeremy

    November 10, 2015

    This is a good and tasty recipe! There are a lot of ingredients, which is fine if you plan to use them with this and other recipes going forward. My only hesitation would be that soy products have their downsides, and I have read that soy should be avoided for the most part. Tempeh is cooked in the manufacturing process it seems. Could someone help clarify my thinking on tempeh ?

    • Jayme Cannon

      June 10, 2016

      There are some negative aspects of soy that needs to be taken into account.

      1. Most soy is genetically modified so the plants can withstand being sprayed with Roundup to kill the weeds without damaging the plant itself.
      2. Unfermented soy is an estrogen mimicker. This means that it could negatively impact someone’s hormones.
      3. Fermented soy has different properties. It has been not been found to present the same issues in the fermented form.
      4. People should use little if any unfermented soy because of the potential to impact their hormones
      5. The biggest problem is all of the commercially processed soy products that are now on the market.
      6. A little soy prepared properly shouldn’t have any negative health impact.

  • Julie

    May 20, 2017

    Takes some time to make, but totally worth the effort. The watercress gives a good crunch. Instead of cubing the tempeh, I ground it in my food processor. I used low sodium tamari instead of fermented black bean sauce. The “special sauce” was un-necessary because the dish had plenty of moisture already. Will definitely make again!

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