Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chinese Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin Sauce

Another Asian recipe and another of my favourites! Lettuce wraps are a fun, do-it-yourself meal. They can easily work as a dinner entree for a few or an appetizer for a larger group. Lettuce wraps, like all stir fries, are very versatile. Use whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand. Get creative. You can also serve them "Mu Shu" style and use small flour tortillas along with (or instead of) lettuce leaves.

Chinese Lettuce Wraps:
1 head of lettuce (ice berg, butter, bib or even romaine)
1 tbsp sesame or peanut oil
1 lb ground chicken, turkey, beef or pork (I used pork today, at room temp of course.)
1 tsp minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cups pre-packaged broccoli slaw
1 can water chestnuts, drained & chopped
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup other assorted vegetables (chopped celery, snap peas, bean sprouts, bell peppers, yellow onion, green onion, sliced red cabbage - whatever you have)
1-2 Thai red chili peppers, sliced (optional)

Stir Fry Sauce:
2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1/4 cup gluten free oyster sauce
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp sucanat
2 tsp minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic

1. Separate lettuce leaves, wash, pat dry and assemble on a serving platter. Set aside.

2. Heat peanut oil in a wok over medium heat. Brown meat in wok. When finished, pour meat into a fine mesh strainer and run under warm water. Drain well. Pour meat into a bowl and set aside.

3. While meat is browning, combine all stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

4. Return wok to stove top. Add ginger, garlic, mushrooms & onions (if using). Stir fry until onions start to soften. Add broccoli slaw and other vegetables. Continue to stir fry, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Add meat back to the wok along with the water chestnuts. Pour stir fry sauce over everything and stir well to coat the mixture. Stir fry for another 5-8 minute until vegetables are cooked and meat is heated through.

6. Remove wok from heat and pour mixture into a serving bowl.

7. To assemble lettuce wraps, spoon some stir fry mixture into your lettuce cup. Top with some homemade hoisin sauce. Fold the sides of the lettuce leaf over to form a wrap (like a burrito). Use more hoisin sauce for dipping. Eat and enjoy!

Hoisin Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp pepper
splash Sriracha (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and wisk until well blended.

2. Use as a topping or dip for your lettuce wraps.

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