Monday, July 13, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps hit the spot on a hot summer night, when you want something to eat but not too much. You might even find you have everything you need to make these in your fridge, especially if you've been cooking over the last couple of days and have a little of this and a little of that still hanging around. I bought the ground turkey and lettuce; everything else was already here.

Boston lettuce is the best for wrapping up these little bundles. You can use any protein (chicken, steak, tofu) and whatever vegetables you like. Fresh herbs such as mint or basil make the dish, as does a squeeze of lime over the mixture before you roll it up like a burrito and eat.

Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4

1 lb. ground turkey
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
pinch hot pepper flakes
2 - 3 cups of shredded or sliced vegetables, including peppers, scallions, cabbage, carrots, sprouts and/or snap peas
fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, or plum sauce (or a combination)
One head of Boston lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint or basil
1 lime, cut into wedges

Cook turkey in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until just about done, about 4 minutes. Drain excess fat. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, ginger, hot pepper flakes and vegetables and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add a splash of fish sauce and a bit of soy or hoisin sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

To serve, place a large spoonful of the turkey-vegetable mixture on a lettuce leaf. Top with fresh mint or basil and a squeeze of lime juice. Roll up and eat.

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