Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pan-Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I know, I know. Who doesn't know how to make lettuce wraps, right?

Saute ground chicken, add some veg, shove it in lettuce. Not hard. 

However - I would heartily suggest that you move away from the soy sauce. There are lots of other flavors on the Asian continent. Let's give them a shot! (and yes, you can use soy sauce, but let's just use a little. Ok?)

First - the basic veg. Onions, garlic, and carrots. All diced to a similar size.

These need about 4-5 minutes in a hot pan with a bit of oil. You want the onions and carrots to be just soft.

Next, add in that ground chicken. Or turkey. Or whatever other chopped up poultry you've got around. Brown it up a bit. Then add in a chopped up jalapeno. Or a bird's eye chili, or a serrano. You are free to make the heat-factor decision.

Here comes the fun part. Add turmeric, curry powder, salt, and ginger. Bringing a little sub-continent to the skillet! Then toss in peas. And if I'd thought of it, I'd have roasted off cauliflower and potatoes and tossed them in too. Please, think and roast!

Dismantle your lettuce (butter or iceberg, your choice) and toss in the delicious mixture. 

If you are itching for that soy sauce bottle, here's my suggestion - 

Add lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Use for dipping/drizzling as desired. You don't need much!

Top your lettuce cups with chopped cilantro. Serve with coconut rice. Mmmmmm! So good. 

Pan-Asian Lettuce Wraps
Makes 6-8 (depending on how much you stuff them)

1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 c. diced carrots
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 package ground chicken or turkey
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
3/4 c. frozen peas, defrosted
roasted diced potatoes and cauliflower (small pieces, 400 degrees, 15-20 minutes. optional)
chopped cilantro (for topping)
iceberg or butter lettuce, with leaves individually separated

1 tbsp fish sauce
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp brown sugar

Put the oil, carrots, onion, and garlic in a large skillet. Saute until just soft (4 to 5 minutes). Add ground poultry and begin to brown and break into small pieces. Add spices and salt (more or less as you please, heck, you could even add some cardamom if you're feeling fancy).  

Saute until meat is cooked. Add peas. Cook for 2 minutes more, until peas are warm. Toss in roasted potatoes and cauliflower, if using. Place 1/2 c. to 3/4 c. of the mixture in a piece of lettuce. Top with sauce and chopped cilantro. Roll up and enjoy!

For the sauce, mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Done.

You'll need several of these to fill you up. They may be healthy, but they are also delicious!

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