I bought some ‘living’ Boston lettuce (hydroponically-grown with roots still attached) at the market a few days ago with the intention of satisfying a craving I have been having for Asian Lettuce Wraps. Boston lettuce works really well in this recipe because it is mild in taste and tender enough to manipulate into a wrapper or shell.
With a few pantry staples and about 30 minutes of time, you can make this quick and easy recipe. We had them for dinner, but they would work nicely as an appetizer as well. You can cater the spiciness to your taste really easily.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
1 – 2 Tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil
½ small red onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or micro-planed
1 knob of ginger root, about 1” long, peeled and finely chopped or micro-planed
1 to 1-1/2 lbs of ground turkey breast
3 Tablespoons of tamari, or soy sauce
1 – 2 Tablespoons chili-garlic paste (if using sriracha, eliminate brown sugar from recipe)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
1 cup of finely chopped cilantro
1 head Boston lettuce, core removed and whole leaves rinsed and patted dry
¼ cup coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts
In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and let cook 2 – 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and allow to cook 1 – 2 minutes longer.
Add in turkey, mincing it finely as it cooks with a wooden spoon. Add an additional bit of oil to help turkey cook, if needed. When the turkey is no longer pink, add in tamari, chili-garlic paste, sugar and vinegar. Allow sauce to combine with meat for about 1 minute or so. Lower heat and add in cilantro, combine well. Cover and keep hot until ready to eat.
To assemble: take a whole lettuce leaf and place some meat mixture in center. Sprinkle with some peanuts and wrap lettuce around filling like a taco shell or wrap up like a cigar.
That’s it! Really easy and simple and delicious!
p.s. If you like it spicier, sprinkle with additional red pepper flakes.