Thursday, August 5, 2010

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Wow, I feel like this blog has become very food focused.  I'll probably start adding new types of posts, even if I don't have pictures.  Never fear though, the recipe posts will continue, partly because I've gotten some good feedback from my 3 readers and mostly because it's a good place for me to catalogue recipes I want to have Eric make part of the rotation.

So, back to the food!  Last week I went to Detroit on business and took the opportunity to go to dinner with my awesome step-sister, Kelly and her boyfriend, Antonio.  We went to a Japanese restaurant and ordered the Lettuce Wraps as an appetizer.  They were really delicious.  We all agreed that if we weren't trying to be civilized we'd be shoveling the remainder of the filling into our mouths with our hands and licking the plate.  I decided it would be in my best interest to try this dish at home and to try to make it a bit healthier (i.e. lighter and less goopy, but therefore slightly less tasty).  This is where Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen comes to the recipe rescue.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

For the sauce:  (I ended up doubling this recipe because I had A LOT of filling)
1½ tsp. Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
½ tsp. Sesame Oil
1 tsp. Rice Vinegar
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 tsp. Sriracha Hot Sauce
For the filling:
2 tsp. Canola Oil
2 cloves/1 tsp Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Ginger, grated
2 Green Onions, chopped
1(ish) lb ground Turkey
Mixed Vegetables, chopped
   I used frozen peas, carrots, red pepper and onion
1/2 Green Apple, chopped
1 can Water Chestnuts, chopped

1 head Butter Lettuce, leaves washed and seperated
2 Carrots, finely sliced

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce (hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, black pepper, sriracha sauce) in a small bowl and mix to blend.

Spend a lot of time cutting and chopping.

To make the filling:
1.  Heat oil in wok on high heat.  Add scallions, ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant.

2.  Add the ground turkey or chicken, breaking into small pieces, and cook until almost cooked through.

3.  Add the vegetables to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.

4.  Mix in the sauce and cook for about 1 minute until thickened slightly.

5.  Add the apples to the pan and toss to coat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.

6.  Spoon the filling into lettuce leaves and enjoy!  Make sure you have napkins!

Leftovers approved!  I just ate the filling alone as leftovers for lunches.

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