Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Asian Lettuce Wraps with Traditional Fried Rice

I recently discovered the deliciousness of lettuce wraps when we ate at Hawker's some time ago. I always was familiar with their existence and I might have tried one or two in passing but for some reason these particular ones struck a chord with me and I challenged myself to recreate them...or at least attempt to do so.

When you think about it, the invention of the lettuce wrap is pure genius, it's lighter than a sandwich but more satisfying than a salad and the cool crisp texture of the butter lettuce acts as a perfect vessel from which to carry delicious stir fried goodies. I really wanted to add bean sprouts to this mix but I couldn't find any at my local store so I subbed out shredded carrots instead. you could always add mushrooms or some water chestnuts for added texture if ya please. I also opted to use ground turkey (because it was on sale) but ground beef or chicken would also work very nicely and vegan/vegetarians are welcome to use tofu or seitan.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

serves 4-5

1 TBS butter
1 pound ground turkey (or chicken, or beef)
2 cloves garlic, minced ( I used garlic infused olive oil)
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 TBS freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
2 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 head butter lettuce

for fried rice...

3 cups day old cooked white rice
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 cup cooked and chopped broccoli florets
1 egg
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

Directions:

1.In a mixing bowl, Stir garlic, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha, mix well then set aside.

2.Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 min. Add carrots and cook for an additional 3-4 min. Add ground meat and cook until no red is showing, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the meat as it cooks, if you need to, drain the excess fat from the meat and discard. Add sauce and coat meat mixture.

To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the meat mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style, top with sliced green onions.

For the rice, heat oil in a saute pan on medium heat, add rice and veggies of choice and stir fry for about 3 min. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, mix well. When rice is almost done, make an opening in the middle, crack the egg and mix quickly, when the egg is almost done cooking, mix it in with the rest of the rice.

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