Asian Lettuce Wraps
Monday, January 10, 2011
So my daughter recently turned 6 and I asked her what she wanted me to make for her special dinner. She didn't blink and said "shrimp potstickers!!" Since those don't really make a meal, I decided to make lettuce wraps to go with them. Over the years, I have made various lettuce wrap recipes, and they were all good. But they weren't great. Til my daughter's birthday. I looked at all my recipes and created this one that's definitely a keeper and my new "go to" asian lettuce wrap recipe. This one is all I'll ever use from now on. My husband, who is brutally honest about my cooking, whether good :) or bad :(, looked up while he was eating his 4th helping and said "Amy, these aren't as good as P.F. Chang's. They're better." And when my kids agreed, I knew this was a winner!!
NOTE:Lots of lettuce wrap recipes call for ground chicken, and if you have easy access to that or have a friend who's a butcher, feel free to substitute ground chicken where it calls for ground turkey. I just use ground turkey because it's easy to buy that way.
Asian Lettuce Wraps: Serves 6-8
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1.25 pounds Ground Turkey
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger,minced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 cups Carrots, shredded or chopped small
8-10 oz. Portobello Mushrooms (or regular),chopped small
1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped
1 8oz. can Water Chestnuts, drained and diced
1 red, orange, or yellow Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 cup Cilantro, chopped.
Stir Fry Sauce:
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Rice Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
Mix all stir fry sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside.
Large pieces of iceberg, romaine, or dark green lettuce leaves. Just use what you have and what your family likes!
Special Topping Sauce:
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Tablespoon Ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Ketchup (sounds weird, just trust me ;)
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (start with 1/8 teaspoon and add more according to how spicy you like your food, you may wind up using more than 1/4 tsp.)
Mix all your topping sauce ingredients together and set aside. You will use this sauce later to top your lettuce wraps right before you eat them, yum!
Note: Do you own the wondrous apparatus that is a food processor? I didn't til I ordered one for myself for my upcoming birthday. And I seriously cannot EVEN BELIEVE I went through 15 years of marriage without one!! I researched the internet and reviews to find the best inexpensive one and I LOVE IT!! So if you own one of these beautiful, divinely inspired machines, just put your veggies in there to chop all together, except for your carrots, ginger and garlic. (You should probably do those separate. You can do the ginger and garlic together since you'll be cooking them with your meat). I actually bought carrots already shredded in a big bag from the 99 cent only store. In fact, the 99 cent only store has gone metro-chic on me!! I actually bought portobello mushrooms there for this, along with a yellow bell pepper and other yummy veggies. And I'm telling you, the produce I get from there is better than Walmart. I haven't ever tried their fruit, but I've always had great luck with their veggies.
Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. Add garlic and ginger, stir for 15-20 seconds til fragrant. Add ground turkey, cook til no longer pink. If you have a lot of liquid from cooking your turkey, you can drain a little off but try not to drain your ginger and garlic. Push your turkey mixture aside/to the back of your wok, and heat another tablespoon of oil over the heat. You will want to move your wok backwards so that the oil is heating directly over the heat, and the cooked turkey is resting kind of away from the heat. Once oil is hot, add all your veggies except for your cilantro. It should look like this:
Then top your veggies with 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt and cook til softened. Then blend together with your turkey, and pour stir fry sauce over all. Cook for a couple minutes to blend flavors over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
Serve lettuce wraps like this: Place a piece of lettuce on a plate, top with meat/veggie mixture, and then spoon "special sauce" over individual servings. Yummy!