Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps

Serves 4 as a main course
This dish is popular for a reason: fast to prepare, refreshingly tasty and nice enough for informal company (just have plenty of napkins on hand). This recipe is modified from a recipe by Vera Flannery at

1-1/2  lb ground turkey, free range if possible
1/2 C broth, chicken or beef (homemade if possible)
4 TBL coconut aminos (a gluten free sauce similar to soy-sauce)
3 TBL orange juice
1 TBL lime juice
1/2 tsp fresh-ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2-inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or more if you love ginger)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can water chestnuts, chopped medium coarse (about 1/2 cup)
3 carrots, finely grated
4 scallions, thinly sliced, including greens
2 heads butter lettuce (or 1 head iceberg lettuce, romaine, or 2 endive)
1 bunch cilantro, leaves cut from stems
1 or 2 limes, cut into 8 wedges apiece

  1. Brown the turkey in a large pot over medium heat. Using the edge of a metal spatula break the turkey into a fine crumble as it cooks.
  2. Into a 2-cup glass measuring cup make the sauce: measure broth, aminos, juices, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper.
  3. To the turkey add chestnuts (reserve carrots and scallions), and the sauce mixture.
  4. Simmer for 5-10 minutes on medium low heat, stirring occasionally to coat meat with sauce, until liquid has nearly evaporated, leaving a thin coating of sauce at bottom of pan so meat stays saucy. Remove from heat. Add grated carrots and scallions now. Optional: add 1 extra tablespoon limejuice over the turkey at this point and mix well.
  5. Try to get as many cup-shaped pieces of lettuce as you can out of the lettuce. Endive and butter lettuce are easy, but more expensive. Stack 4 or 5 lettuce leaves per person and put on platter. Place bowl of cilantro leaves in the middle of lettuce on the platter.
  6. Slice each lime into 6 wedges. Put 3 wedges on each plate.
  7. Serve the meat in a large shallow bowl, garnished with a few cilantro leaves. OR plate individual plates with a bowl of meat in a ramekin, and lettuce cups on the side with cilantro and lime.
  8. To assemble: place a few tablespoons of cilantro leaves on lettuce leaf, top with meat and a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy.

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