Lettuce Wraps with Vegan Soy Protein Mince

June 23, 2015 , Passmethedimsum


As much as I love to cook, I’m not one to make dainty little tedious items like samosas and spring rolls and little fondant cake toppers. I have utmost respect for people who do that though (so that people like me can enjoy them), but I just don’t have that kind of dedicated patience. I’m more of a “throw-everything-into-a-sizzling-wok-and-serve” kind of person.

For Iftar today, I was exhausted as usual. I was this close to asking my husband, (I will henceforth refer to him as M), to just take me out- when I noticed an untouched head of Iceberg lettuce in the crisper. Now, one just can’t have a mere salad for Iftar or Suhoor, it just isn’t enough for a famished, fasting Muslim. What else can be done with a huge gorgeous ton of lettuce then? But of course: lettuce wraps. Now, I wasn’t going to sit and make individual wraps though (ain’t nobody got time for that!), so I put together the components that go into it and let everyone fend for themselves. This is also a great option when cooking for crowds or having company over. It’s a fun activity, if you get a kick out of watching your guests struggle to assemble their own appetizers.

Lettuce wraps are usually stuffed with a mince of some sort. P.F Chang’s is famous for their chicken mince lettuce wraps. Gordon Ramsay boasts a brilliant recipe for crispy beef lettuce wraps. I, however, decided to go with my favorite option; which is the quickest, easiest, and most inconspicuous: savory soy protein.

I buy Neal’s Yard Wholefood’s Savory Soya Protein from Holland and Barret and advocate it so much that they might as well hire me as a brand ambassador. I’m no vegan, but I do love my vegetables, and I just can’t stand minced meat if there’s a high fat content in it. No, not because I only eat healthy, but because all those stretchy slimy chunks of white fat which constitute 50%(?) of the mince seriously turn me off. SO, when I saw this Soya Protein at my favorite health store, I instantly decided to give it a try and didn’t regret it for a single second. It’s much easier and much quicker to cook than actual mince, and my carnivorous husband is very happy eating it as long as I don’t tell him what it is.


This doesn’t have much flavor on it’s own, but cook it the right way and I promise you it’s not half bad- and actually quite preferable for people like me.

Here’s how its done:


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil (this has a very strong and overpowering taste so you don’t want to overdo this)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup savory soy protein mince
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar


  1. Sautee the onions, ginger and garlic and salt in the oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the soya mince and give it a stir. Add the water and mix. Keep the heat medium high.
  3. Add sesame seeds, white rice vinegar and bean sprouts. Keep mixing as the heat is medium high.
  4. Lower the heat and leave for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and serve. You don’t want the bean sprouts to completely wilt. You want them soften just a bit.

Serving suggestions:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with lettuce wraps; you take a leaf of lettuce, spoon some mince on to it, drizzle some sauce of choice on top, roll the leaf up and stuff it in yo mouth. I couldn’t take pictures of the struggle as I was elbow deep in sauces and too lost in the deliciousness to even care.

You can serve these wraps with any assortment of sauces that you like. I used a lemon ginger sauce, store-bought chili garlic sauce, and a tom yam peanut sauce. You can also use a lemon-sesame-cilantro sauce. I’ll be posting recipes for all these separately.