Perfect for hungry Superbowl guests or a busy weeknight family dinner, Asian turkey lettuce wraps are a winner. The best part is you can make the filling a day or two ahead and warm it up to serve when hungry which means less time in the kitchen.
Asian Turkey 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. Butter lettuce leaves or iceberg leaves work well too. 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, 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 (dark meat) for more flavor and less chance of ending up with a dry dish.
More Ingredient 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.
Oil – I use unrefined, organic coconut oil for this recipe (and many others). Coconut oil is a healthy fat for cooking and pairs especially well with Asian-inspired flavor profiles.
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- 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
- 4 ounces snow peas 1 huge handful
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup grated or chopped carrot
- 1 1/2 tablespoons organic ginger puree or fresh finely grated
- 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 1/4 pounds 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″
- 1 tablespoon Black and white sesame seeds for garnish optional
- Whisk together sauce ingredients and reserve for serving.
- Remove strings from snow peas by grasping the top and pulling string down the side. Thinly slice crosswise.
- 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.
- Add ground turkey to the pan and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spatula or spoon.
- 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).