Asian Lettuce Wraps

by Sally on January 27, 2014 · 4 comments

in Appetizers & Snacks, Chicken & Turkey, Gluten-free, The Daniel Plan

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Perfect for hungry Superbowl guests or a busy weeknight dinner for family, Asian lettuce wraps or lettuce cups are a winner. Best part is you can make the filling a day or two ahead and warm it up to serve for less time in the kitchen.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is fun, healthy and satisfying food, all at the same time. Popularized by Asian restaurant chain, PF Changs, today there are many versions of these lettuce wraps or cups. Lettuce, in this case Romaine leaves, make a wrap or vessel to spoon savory filling into.  Spoon on a little dipping sauce and chow down.

Ground Turkey and Vegetables

What makes this recipe a standout is using vegetables along with ground turkey for crunch, color, and more nutrition. Some recipes use water chestnuts, but the snow peas and carrots add more punch. While water chestnuts are more traditional for adding crunch, they are pretty tasteless and colorless. As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first. Color is good.

Choose ground turkey that is between 10% and 15% fat for more flavor and less chance of ending up with a dry dish. Ginger and garlic add zing to the flavor.

Asian lettuce wrapsIngredients Notes

Ginger – I keep a jar of organic, pureed ginger in the refrigerator at all times.  Not only do I love the flavor of ginger and cook with it often, it is anti-inflammatory and great for digestion.

The brand I like best is made by The Ginger People. It is a fine puree  (the jar says minced) and melts into a dish quickly. It’s available on Amazon and at many stores on the Asian products aisle.  Try ginger mixed into simple brown rice for great flavor. It is a good side dish for these lettuce wraps if you want to add a whole grain.

You can also use fresh ginger root. Peel the brown papery exterior with a vegetable peeler, then use a microplane zester for fine ginger root. 

Tamari – Also know as soy sauce, tamari is wheat-free, perfect if you follow a gluten-free diet. Be sure to buy low sodium organic.

One last note. I use unrefined, organic coconut oil for this recipe (and many others). My favorite brand is Dr. Bronners, white label, if you are not familiar with it. Very healthy and mild tasting oil.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps

These Asian lettuce wraps (or lettuce cups ) feature ground turkey with ginger and garlic for appetizing game-day eats or an easy weeknight dinner that is serve-yourself. Chopped snow peas and carrots add vegetables, crunch and color. Spoon filling into crisp Romaine leaves and enjoy with a spoonful of sauce drizzled over the top. Note – do not add salt to this dish as tamari, even low sodium, is salty enough.

Serves: 4  as a main course

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 1-2 teaspoons ginger puree (from a jar, or fresh finely grated or chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 tablespoon mild honey
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

Turkey Filling

  • 4 ounces snow peas (1 huge handful)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped or grated carrot
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons organic ginger puree (from a jar, or fresh finely grated or chopped)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey (10%-15% fat)
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon found black pepper
  • 1-2 pinches crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 package Romaine hearts (usually 3 heads), trimmed to about 6″-7″
  • Black and white sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk together sauce ingredients and reserve for serving.
  2. Remove strings from snow peas by grasping the top and pulling string down the side. Leave snow peas whole. Thinly slice crosswise.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a large fry or sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, snow peas and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add ground turkey to the pan and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spatula or spoon.
  5. Add tamari, black and red pepper, and green onion. Stir together and serve in trimmed Romaine leaves. Drizzle with a  little of the sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).

Helpful Links

Read about the health benefits of ginger

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Margaret February 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I am new to your blog….found it by searching for almond milk recipe. I made these lettuce wraps last night…..not quite sure how they would go over with my kids (7 yr old and 5 yr old twins). They were a big hit! Everyone loved the taste and we had so much fun eating them. The kids made a mess but it was well worth it. Thanks for a great recipe.

Reply

2 Sally February 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I love to hear that Margaret! So happy your family, especially your kids, enjoyed them. Thanks for reporting back!

Reply

3 Linda February 24, 2014 at 9:14 am

I made these for dinner and my daughter loved them. She loves food that she can build herself and has fun experimenting with flavors herself. I like the less carb aspect of it. I have a tip on using fresh ginger that my Mom taught me long ago to share. I freeze fresh ginger in a ziplock bag and when I remove it to use it is hard and easy to peel and grate with a microplane grater. I only peel and grate what I need for that recipe and the remainder goes back in the freezer. Thanks for the fun recipe.

Reply

4 Sally February 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Good tip on the ginger Linda. Love microplanes! So glad your daughter enjoyed them.Thanks for commenting back. It makes my day to hear back from readers!

Reply

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