Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

These vegetarian lettuce wraps are filled with hoisin and ginger flavoured tempeh, sweet shredded carrot and crunchy red cabbage.  These wraps are vegan, gluten free, and low carb – perfect for a healthy and nutritious lunch, dinner, or appetizer.

a plate containing vegetarian tempeh lettuce wraps with shredded carrot and red cabbage toppings


Are you a tempeh fan?

In an effort to add some more variety to the vegetarian proteins we are eating we have been experimenting with it.  One of our favourite ways to eat it is in this Thai salad with peanut tempeh by Minimalist Baker.

I’ve been wanting to make lettuce wraps on the blog for a while now and I figured that tempeh would be a great protein to use and I was right!  Crumbled tempeh is the perfect texture for these lettuce wraps


What is tempeh

Tempeh is a soy product that originated in Indonesia.  It is basically fermented soy beans and it comes in a brick.  It is less processed than tofu, and therefore a healthier soy based protein. It has a nutty and earthy taste, and depending on the brand it can have a bit of a bitter flavour.

How to make vegetarian lettuce wraps

Start by boiling your brick of tempeh in a pot of water for 10 minutes.  You want to boil the tempeh for two reasons: first, it helps to remove any bitterness, and second, it makes it easier to crumble it.

While the tempeh boils, shred your carrot and cabbage and cut your radish.

Once the tempeh is boiled, use your hands and start breaking it into small pieces and place them into a bowl.  You are looking for a ground meat like consistency.

a collage of prepared shredded vegetables and crumbled tempeh cooking in a pan.

Mix the hoisin sauce, tamari, ginger, rice vinegar, water and ginger together in a bowl and put aside.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan to medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil and the diced onion.  Cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes allowing the onion to soften.  Add the crumbled tempeh to the pan along with with the sauce mixture and mix everything together thoroughly in the frying pan until the lettuce wrap filling is heated through and well combined.

To serve, use the lettuce as little ‘cups’ for the wraps and fill with the tempeh mixture and top with the shredded carrot, radish, and cabbage.  Drizzle each lettuce wrap with a bit of extra hoisin sauce.

a hand holding a lettuce wrap with a plate of lettuce wraps and toppings in the background


What if tempeh isn’t my thing?

If you’re not that into tempeh and tofu is more of your thing you can substitute the tempeh for tofu here!

Just crumble and cook the tofu in the pan like you would in our scrambled tofu breakfast tacos, and then pour the hoisin sauce mixture over and cook through.


This recipe for vegetarian lettuce cups is suitable for the following diets:

  • vegan and vegetarian
  • clean eating
  • gluten free, dairy free, and low carb


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Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

Vegetarian lettuce wraps filled with hoisin tempeh and topped with fresh crunchy vegetables
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian
Keyword vegetarian lettuce wraps
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 wraps
Calories 185kcal
Author Courtney


  • 1 leafy lettuce butter lettuce or Boston bib
  • 1 pkg tempeh crumbled
  • 1⁄2 onion diced
  • 4 tbsp hoisin
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 8 radishes


  • Remove the tempeh from its package and boil it in a pot of water for 10 minutes to remove any bitter flavour and soften the tempeh.
  • While the tempeh boils, dice the onion, shred the carrots and cabbage and slice the radish.
  • Mix together the hoisin, rice vinegar, tamari, water and ginger in a small bowl.
  • When the tempeh has finished boiling, allow it to cool a minute or two then using your fingers begin crumbling it into small pieces. The consistency should resemble minced meat.
  • Heat a large nonstick frying pan to medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the diced onion and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the tempeh and sauce to the pan.
  • Stir the mixture around in the pan until the tempeh, onion and sauce are mixed together thoroughly and heated through.
  • Using the lettuce leaves as 'cups', fill them with some of the tempeh mixture then top with the shredded vegetables.
  • Serve with extra hoisin sauce to top the wraps.

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