I remember the first time I had a lettuce wrap at an Asian restaurant; I was happily amazed. All that delicious filling in a simple leaf of lettuce satisfied my taste-buds and my waistline. I have made this Thai filling several times and it's a great starter or meal at my house. Everyone loves it, even the picky eaters. Of course my son protests to the peanuts since he thinks that nuts are only allowed on a sundae or in a dessert. I was the same way when I was a child, so I can't be mad at him. Now as an adult, my palate has opened up so much that I appreciate the crunch and flavor they bring to the bold Thai filling. These wraps are low-carb and so fun to eat with a group. We all wanted to eat the last lettuce leaf.. now how often can you say that?
Lettuce (Bib or Baby Romaine Hearts)
1lb lean ground meat (Chicken, Beef, Turkey). I used pork.
1 medium onion chopped
2 Tbs of grated ginger
1 Tbs of grated garlic
1 small can of water chestnuts drained and diced
2 jalapenos (seeded) chopped
scallions chopped **white part only(reserve green part for garnish)
1 large handful of fresh Thai basil leaves coarsely chopped
1 small handful of fresh mint leaves coarsely chopped
The Sauce for filling:
1 Tbs of Chili Sambal Oelek (or red pepper flakes to taste)
1 tsp of Sesame Oil
2 Tbs of Fish Sauce
2 Tbs of Soy Sauce
2 Tbs of Rice Vinegar
2 Tbs of Chinese cooking wine or dry Sherry
1/2 tsp brown sugar
Note: Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce are used as salt in Thai and Chinese cooking. So if you are not a fan of salt adjust your dish accordingly.
greens of scallion chopped
roasted peanuts (unsalted)
Brown meat really well. If there is more than 1 Tbs of oil, drain it out of the pan. Next add onion, garlic, ginger, white part of scallions and jalapeno to pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Then add chopped water chestnuts , Thai basil and mint leaves with prepared sauce recipe above and cook for 4-5 minutes.
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