thai lettuce wraps

DSC_0712lettuce wraps at asian restaurants usually come as appetizers on the menu, & i’m usually that girl that orders that as my meal because they are SO TASTY [i’m talking about you, p.f. chang’s].  so i’m going to go ahead with my statement that these are totally appropriate as a dinner on their own.  they are not the preview to a bigger first course, they are IT.

the lettuce wraps [+ their sauce] that i came up with have that thai flavor — it’s a little nutty, a little acidic, a darker sauce.  the cooking sauce that the mixture gets covered in is made of the following – coconut aminos [substitute for soy sauce], almond butter, sesame oil, fish sauce, rice vinegar, grated ginger [you grate it in prep], + red pepper flakes. in the amounts listed, all you have to do is whisk these together before pouring into the pan of cooked meat + vegetables… ok slow down, we haven’t cooked it all yet.

this is a 1 pan situation, amazing for clean up later.  anyways, use a large pan.  this is going to make a good amount of food, ~ 6 servings, maybe 8 if it’s for lunch.  you are going to have leftovers!! & you will be excited that you do!!  so use your wok or largest skillet to cook in the next few steps…

another sauce you’ll want to prep in advance is the serving [dipping or topping] sauce for the lettuce wraps.  this is a combination of 1 tbsp of the cooking sauce + some more coconut aminos, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup [yes!] + red pepper flakes.  whisk that all together, & set aside for the final touch later.

prepare your white onion by dicing, mushrooms by wiping clean & dicing, and mince your garlic.  while you’re dicing & chopping, go ahead and chop your green onions + water chestnuts, too.  those will go in last, but it’s nice to have them ready to go.  so once those are all ready, you are ready.

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heat olive oil in a skillet & add the onions until they are translucent, stirring to cook evenly.  once they become translucent, add the mushrooms & cook for just 2-3 more minutes.  add the minced garlic until you can smell it, just a few seconds, & then add your ground chicken + ground pork!  — now, you might prefer only ground chicken or only ground pork; that’s totally fine.  if you use only 1 lb, adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly because this recipe will be for 1 lb chicken + 1 lb pork  — back to the skillet.  after garlic, add the chicken + pork.  break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, simultaneously combining with the contents of the pan so far.

once the meat has cooked and is no longer pink, go ahead & pour your mixed cooking sauce into the pan with the veg+meat combination.  ** SAVE 1 TABLESPOON OF THIS SAUCE TO USE FOR THE TOPPING SAUCE IN A FEW STEPS. **  allow this all to simmer/sizzle; in this process, the sauce will thicken a bit & will really elevate your dish.

in the final step before serving, you’ll toss in the shredded carrots, some of the green onions + water chestnuts.  i personally like to add the carrots right at the end because i don’t want them to get soggy, i like them to retain some crunch!  same with the water chestnuts.

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okay, now your pan is off. your dinner is ready, you just have to serve it !  i use iceberg lettuce [big lettuce leaves] and double up with 2 pieces for each cup so that i don’t lose sauce.  spoon the mixture into each lettuce cup, garnish with green onion, more water chestnuts, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes.  finally, drizzle some of the serving sauce on top of each lettue wrap to TOP IT ALL OFF.  this sauce is sweet with a kick and is the perfect end to this truly perfect knockoff lettuce wrap recipe.  i added some cauliflower rice in the bottom of each lettuce wrap for a nutritional boost + some more vegetables, but you do you!

 


 

INGREDIENTS »

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› iceberg lettuce, for cups

› 1 lb ground chicken

› 1 lb ground pork

› 1/2 white onion, diced

› 1 cup mushrooms, chopped

› 2 cloves garlic, minced

› shredded carrots

› 1 can water chestnuts, sliced

› sliced green onion

cooking sauce:

› 1/2 cup coconut aminos

› 2 tbsp sesame oil

› 2 tbsp rice vinegar

› 2 tbsp almond butter

› 1 tbsp fish sauce

› 1 knob ginger, peeled + grated

› red pepper flakes

serving sauce:

› 1 tbsp cooking sauce

› 2 tbsp coconut aminos

› 1 tsp sesame oil

› 1 tsp rice vinegar

› 1 tbsp maple syrup

› red pepper flakes

garnish: 

› sesame seeds

› green onion

› any reserved water chestnuts

HOW TO MAKE »
  • prepare the cooking sauce by combining all ingredients + whisking. set aside.
  • prepare the serving sauce by combining all ingredients [1 tbsp of reserved cooking sauce + coconut aminos, sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper flakes] + whisking. set aside for the final touch.
  • prepare your white onion by dicing, mushrooms by wiping clean & dicing, and mince your garlic.
  • chop green onions + water chestnuts.  [those will go in last]
  • heat olive oil in a skillet & add the onions until they are translucent, stirring to cook evenly.  once they become translucent, add the mushrooms & cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • add the minced garlic until you can smell it, just a few seconds, & then add your ground chicken + ground pork* !  break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, simultaneously combining with the contents of the pan so far.
  • once meat is no longer pink, pour your pre-mixed cooking sauce into pan with the veg+meat combination.  ** SAVE 1 TABLESPOON OF THIS SAUCE TO USE FOR THE TOPPING SAUCE IN A FEW STEPS. **
  • allow this all to simmer/sizzle; in this process, the sauce will thicken a bit & will really elevate your dish.
  • toss in shredded carrots, some of the green onions + water chestnuts.
  • assemble your lettuce wraps — i double up with 2 pieces for each cup so that i don’t lose sauce.  spoon the mixture into each lettuce cup.
  • garnish with green onion, more water chestnuts, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes.
  • finally, drizzle some of the serving sauce on top of each lettue wrap.
  • serve with cauliflower rice [or not] and enjoy!

 

* now, you might prefer only ground chicken or only ground pork; that’s totally fine.  if you use only 1 lb, adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly because this recipe will be for 1 lb chicken + 1 lb pork.


 

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