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Haven’t posted here in a bit, and it’s just so nice to be back! We had a family emergency last week with our little pup Mickie. She’s on the mend now, but things got a bit scary for a while there. All routine and any semblance of proper eating/taking care of ourselves was thrown out the window. Our girl is still recovering, but I’m grateful to be back in the routine of working and just normal day-to-day living. The little things in life are the big things!

I’ve got a fun little lettuce wrap recipe with crispy coconut tofu for you today. The inspiration here is definitely that ubiquitous coconut-battered and fried shrimp that you see on bar menus in the Caribbean. I guess with the stress of last week I was just thinking of total beach vibes? Whatever the case, this tofu is way better than shrimp (for so many reasons) and you can fix these up pretty quickly.

There is a typical wet and dry batter setup for this recipe. Once you have your stations lined up, this crispy coconut tofu is pretty easy. Also, we’re baking these golden nuggets, rather than frying. You could certainly fry them if you feel up to it! The baking is a bit lazier though, which is more my pace these days.

Hope that you get a chance to try these! See you back here soon :)

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Print the recipe here!
NOTES: Pressing the tofu is key so that all of the excess moisture comes out. Since we’re baking these little cubes, rather than frying, we need all the help we can get! A guide to pressing is here.

⅔ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons spelt flour
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 400 gram package extra firm tofu, pressed
avocado oil spray

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons tamari or coconut aminos

sturdy lettuce leaves
sliced green onion

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, spelt flour, arrowroot powder, lime juice, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the shredded coconut, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix evenly. Set aside.

Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Place it in the non-dairy milk mixture and toss with a spatula to coat.

Working quickly, transfer the tofu cubes from the non-dairy milk mixture over to the coconut  mixture. Gently press the tofu into the coconut mixture to coat on all sides.

Spray the parchment lined baking sheet with avocado oil spray. Place the coated tofu cubes on the parchment with space around each cube. Then spray the tofu cubes with avocado oil spray again.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Then, remove the tofu from the oven. Carefully flip over each piece of tofu with tongs. Return the tofu to the oven to bake for another 8 minutes, or until all sides are slightly golden and crisp.

While tofu is baking, make the sweet chili sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, agave nectar, avocado oil, and tamari until combined.

Serve the crispy coconut tofu in lettuce wraps with drizzles of the sweet chili sauce and a sprinkle of sliced green onions. Enjoy immediately!

  • McKenzie24/07/2019 - 10:13 am

    YUM. I want to make these tonight. I noticed your coconut is pre-toasted. How did you get it to not burn in the oven? I think I only have toasted coconut on hand so just making sure that’s okay.ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/07/2019 - 11:24 am

      Hi there!
      My coconut was not pre-toasted. It just looks toasted after you mix it with the paprika. I would save this recipe for when you have regular un-toasted coconut. The oven is quite hot for this recipe and I’m afraid that pre-toasted coconut would burn.

  • Rui24/07/2019 - 2:01 pm

    This reminds me SO much of my favorite “coconut tofu bites” from one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants! Back then I had completely no idea what to do when I was in the kitchen, so my friends decided to use eggs for binding, but I’ve been looking for a vegan solution – this is perfect <3 It's also delicious with sweet-sour plum sauce I think :D Thank youuuReplyCancel

  • Cyndi24/07/2019 - 2:31 pm

    These look great! Could swap coconut flour or almond flour for the spelt?ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/07/2019 - 3:43 pm

      If you need to do a grain-free substitution, cassava flour is your best bet since it’s a bit starchier. You’re trying to form a glue for the coconut to stick to.

      I will add that I have not personally tried this recipe with a cassava flour variation, so cannot guarantee the results.


  • Friday Faves | foodiecrush26/07/2019 - 8:00 am

    […] Crispy tofu lettuce cups […]ReplyCancel

  • Sara26/07/2019 - 10:35 pm

    I made this for the family tonight and it was amazing. I made a double batch (thank goodness!) and they said that they would want me to make it again and again. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany29/07/2019 - 1:44 pm

    I think I have everything at home to do this, but I know I do not have spelt flour? I am not gluten free, so any suggestions are welcome.ReplyCancel

    • Laura29/07/2019 - 3:14 pm

      You could also use all purpose flour or whole wheat flour!

  • Deirdre30/07/2019 - 2:44 am

    These look amazing! I never would have thought of coating tofu with coconut, what a good idea.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay P Grenon30/07/2019 - 4:05 pm

    Despite working quickly as possible, I found that much of my coconut mixture wouldn’t stick to my tofu. That said, it definitely won’t stop me from trying again because they were so dang good.ReplyCancel

  • Riley23/08/2019 - 5:42 pm

    Wow, wow, wow. These are INCREDIBLE. I keep a little stash of vegan recipes in the notes of my phone and I’m putting this under BANG BANG lettuce wraps bc these are the BOMB. Thank you for blessing us with this goodness!ReplyCancel

  • Alice02/09/2019 - 5:38 pm

    These are so good! Next time I might marinate the tofu in Tamari first to get a bit more flavor.ReplyCancel

  • Sue16/10/2019 - 3:01 pm

    Laura, thisv was sooooo delicious. We ate it on a bed of spinach. You rock!ReplyCancel

  • Hilary01/01/2020 - 10:34 pm

    Hi Laura! This looks amazing and I think I will try this weekend. I too am in the bitter cold of Ontario and feel like lettuce wraps might make me sad rn lol. Any suggestions for a more wintery vibe? Thank you for all your hard work an amazingness – I’ll report back when I make it.ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2020 - 9:10 am

      Hi Hilary!
      You could also serve the coconut tofu on top of some hot stir-fried noodles to keep the warm and cozy vibe going! :)

  • seat13/07/2020 - 12:32 pm

    Hi :) I made these Saturday night for dinner and they were AMAZING!!!! Thank you so much for this recipe – we will be making these in the air fryer all summer. We had a few additions – chopped up a cucumber from the garden to go in the cups and finely diced peanuts! SO GOOD! love your recipes!ReplyCancel

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