The Asian Nacho appetizer at Grand Lux Cafe is easily one of my favorite omni dishes. The nachos are perfectly balanced: crunchy and sweet and a bit spicy, with just the right amount of cheesiness. I have taken the flavor profile of that dish, and veganized it into easy to make, handheld appetizers that are perfect to make for any holiday gathering or get together. The components can be made ahead of time and then easily assembled wherever you need to spread holiday cheer.

This recipe makes 24 individual appetizer cups.

The Components:

  • Wonton cups (recipe below)
  • Teriyaki sauce (I modified this recipe from Culinary Hill and made it vegan by removing the honey.)
  • Teriyaki tofu (recipe below)
  • Wasabi cream sauce (recipe below)
  • Shredded vegan mozzarella
  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Green onion, sliced into thin rings
  • Roasted peanuts, chopped

Wonton Cups:

  • 24, vegan wonton or gyoza wrappers, round or square. Read the label. I used the Dynasty brand.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Muffin pan

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Lightly brush each wrapper with oil. You can oil them all at once, stacking them as you go. Place an oiled wrapper in each of the muffin recesses of your muffin pan. Use your fingers to make sure the wrapper stick to the bottom, and mostly sticks to the edges and the sides.

Bake for 7 minutes at 350, removing them when they have firmed up, but are not browned. Take the wrappers out of the muffin pan and set aside. These can be stored, once completely cooled, in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble the dish.

Teriyaki Tofu:

  • 1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
  • ¾ to 1 cup of prepared teriyaki sauce, divided
  • The white parts of your green onions (optional, or if you remember)

Drain your tofu, and then slice it into 12 thin slices by dividing it into quarters, and then dividing those quarters into thirds. Sandwich each of the slices between two towels, and set them aside for at least 10 to 15 minutes to remove most of the water.

When the tofu is dry, add the slices to a nonstick pan on medium to medium-high heat. Allow the tofu to brown on one side, for about 7 minutes. It’s ok if it gets a bit dark the crispier it is, the better the texture will be in the end. Flip the tofu, and brown the other side.

When the tofu is browned, remove from the pan and cut it into ¼ inch cubes, or just break it apart into small pieces in the pan with a spatula. With the heat on medium-low, add about a half cup or more of the teriyaki sauce to the tofu. Coat the tofu fully, and stir until the tofu has absorbed most of the sauce, and it is starting to caramelize. Turn the head off, and add enough of the remaining teriyaki sauce to thinly coat and moisten the tofu. You want the tofu to be flavorful, but not to dripping with sauce.

This can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until you are read you assemble the dish.  

Wasabi Cream Sauce:

  • ½ cup of soaked cashews. If you are not using a high powered blender, you really need to make sure they have soaked for a couple of hours, or quick-soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • 2 teaspoons of wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt.
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of water (or more depending on the texture of your sauce.)
  • A few leaves of cilantro (optional) for color and a bit of flavor

Add all of the ingredients to a blender, and allow to blend until it is a creamy texture. If it’s grainy, keep blending. If it seems too thick, add a bit of water, a tablespoon at a time. Set aside, or in the fridge until ready to serve.

To Assemble:

All of the above components can be made ahead of time, and the final assembly can be completed at your destination. These are great served warm, but they hold up and taste wonderful at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Arrange your wonton cups on a baking sheet. Fill each of the baked wonton cups with a scant tablespoon of the teriyaki tofu. You should have exactly enough for 24 cups. Sprinkle a small amount of vegan cheese on the top of the tofu. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the wonton are golden brown, and the cheese is melted (as best as vegan cheese can melt).

Remove from the oven, and with the cups still on the baking sheet, generously drizzle your wasabi cream sauce, sprinkle your green onions, cilantro, and peanuts. Transfer to a serving tray and enjoy!