Lettuce Wraps

30 Apr

We are a wee bit obsessed with lettuce wraps. Low carb, fun and easy to prepare — what’s not to love?
The orange infused hoisin is such a simple joy. This is one of the freshest, cleanest tasting dishes we’ve enjoyed in a while, so it bears hoarding.

At bottom is another lettuce wrap clipping we’ve kept through the years: Martin Yan’s minced poultry with walnuts.

NATHAN FONG’S SPICY TURKEY AND ASPARAGUS LETTUCE WRAPS
– 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
– 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
– ½ small cooking onion, finely chopped
– 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
– ½ sweet red pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
– ½ lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
– 1 tbsp light soy sauce
– 1 tsp Asian chili sauce (or more to taste)
– 1 tsp cornstarch
– 2 tbsp cold water
– 2 tsp dark sesame oil
– ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
– 2 green onions, finely chopped
– 1 to 2 heads Boston lettuce, separated into small cups
Orange hoisin sauce
– 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
– 2 tbsp orange juice
– 1 tsp grated orange peel
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– ½ tsp Asian chili sauce
Stir sauce ingredients together and reserve.
Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add turkey and stir, breaking up meat until no sign of pink remains about 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, red pepper and asparagus. Stir-fry
another minute.
Whisk soy sauce, chili sauce, cornstarch, water and sesame oil together and add to turkey. Stir one minute. Add cilantro, mint and green onions.
Serve with lettuce cups and sauce and let guests serve themselves by filling the lettuce cups and drizzling with sauce. Makes 12 to 16 small cups

______________________________________________
MINCED POULTRY WITH WALNUTS IN LETTUCE CUPS
From Martin Yan’s Feast: The Best of Yan Can Cook
6 dried black mushrooms
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 pound (225 g) boneless, skinless chicken, turkey or duck
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 small carrot, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup diced water chestnuts or jicama
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Hoisin sauce
12 small iceberg lettuce cups

Soak mushrooms in warm water to cover until softened, about 20 minutes; drain, reserving 1/4 cup (50 ml) of the soaking liquid. Discard stems and chop caps.

Spread walnuts in a pie pan; toast in a 350 degreesF (180 degreesC) oven, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let nuts cool, then coarsely chop.

Cut chicken into 1/4-inch pieces. Place in a bowl with oyster-flavoured sauce; stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add carrot, zucchini and water chestnuts; stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add reserved mushroom soaking liquid; cook until vegetables are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Add wine and sesame oil; cook until heated through. Add walnuts and toss to coat.

To eat, spread hoisin sauce on a lettuce cup, spoon in some of the chicken mixture, wrap in lettuce cup and eat out of hand.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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