Does anyone else ever wake up first thing in the morning and immediately ponder over what to make for dinner that evening? Three days ago I woke up and thought, "Ketchup. I must have something with ketchup!" Yesterday, before I even had my first sip of coffee, I was dreaming of my favorite lettuce wraps. I prayed that the repairman would be able to fix my range hood so that I'd have access to my stove, but believe me, I was fully prepared to haul the DamFam' across town for lettuce wraps at PF Changs if my stove wasn't in working order by 5:00!
Fortunately, we didn't have to make the trek and we had the wraps at home. My husband and I like them really spicy, and my middle one must too, because she gobbled down three! The oldest glumly poked at his with a fork, and my youngest took a bite and screamed, "SPICY!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!" More for the three of us, is what I said. The two dissenters settled for Cheerios.
This recipe is originally from epicurious.com, I believe it's called "Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps" if you'd like to look it up. I've added a couple of different 'rifs' (as Rick Bayless would say) over the years. Try them next time you're craving Asian....they're delicious and relatively healthy way to get an Asian fix.
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Serves: 6, maybe?
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 can diced water chestnuts, drained
2 lbs. ground turkey
1 very large handful fresh bean sprouts
Purchased (or homemade, I've done both) peanut sauce
1-2 T. hoisin
2-3 t. chili garlic sauce - optional, I use it because we like them with a little heat
Generous pinches of fresh cilantro and mint
Bibb lettuce leaves, washed and spun dry
Seeded and diced English cucumber
Crunchy Rice Noodles (not necessary, but kids like them!)
Jasmine Rice on the side
Place a large saute pan and 1 T. cooking oil over medium high heat. Saute / stirfry the onion, carrot, and water chestnuts until the onion is tender, about 4 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes (if you used ground turkey breast there shouldn't be very much liquid in the pan. If you used regular ground turkey, you might want to drain off the fat before proceeding). Add the bean sprouts, peanut sauce to taste (I usually use about half a cup), the hoisin, and the chili garlic sauce if using. Stir to combine. Add the cilantro and mint. Taste and correct seasonings if necessary.
Place turkey mixture on a large platter and surround with the lettuce leaves. Have diners assemble their own wraps, and garnish with cucumber and crunchy noodles. Serve with the Jasmine rice on the side.