asian-style lettuce wraps

Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps |

These Asian-style lettuce wraps make a great appetizer for your next party or a light, yet filling, main dish your entire family will enjoy. Filled with lean ground turkey, shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, bell peppers, and carrots, they’re  healthy and full of flavor.  

Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps |

This dish is easy to make, although there is a fair amount of chopping to do. It’s all worth the extra time; trust me!  The recipe can be easily adapted to use ground chicken or ground beef as well as other vegetables. Be sure to use ingredients that add a variety of colors, textures, and flavors. In this recipe, the carrots and red bell peppers add visual appeal, while the water chestnuts and lettuce leaves provide some crunch.  The shitaake mushrooms give this dish a wonderful earthy flavor as well as a meaty texture. In addition, the hoisin dipping sauce adds a tangy, and slightly spicy kick!

Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps

On a side note, I can’t believe that this is only my third post of the year. I miss blogging and cooking, and as soon as the demands of my full-time job coupled with family commitments ease up, I hope to get back to a more regular posting schedule.

Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps
Yields 4 servings/16 pieces

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons dry white wine (I used sake since I didn’t have an open bottle of white wine)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
4 stalks green onion, chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound ground turkey (ground chicken is a good substitute)
1 ounce dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and sliced into strips
1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots, divided in half
2 tablespoons cooking oil
20 large iceberg or bibb lettuce leaves
cilantro leaves, for garnish

Hoisin Dipping Sauce:
7 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon Japanese ponzu sauce (optional, for flavor and to help thin out the sauce)
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce, or more, to taste

Mix the dipping sauce and set aside.

Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, white wine, ginger, sugar, cornstarch, green onion, and black pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Add ground turkey, chopped shiitake mushrooms, and water chestnuts and mix thoroughly.

Heat up a wok and add the cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and onion until light brown.  Add the bell peppers and half of the shredded carrots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground turkey, making sure to break it up into small pieces. Continue to cook until turkey is browned and cooked.

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter. Scoop turkey mixture evenly into the lettuce l eaves.Garnish with more shredded carrots and cilantro leaves. Close up the lettuce leaves and dip into the hoisin sauce.

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