Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I was reading Amalah the other day, and she mentioned one of her kids chowing down on the Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps they sometimes make... and usually gave to their kids on noodles or rice. I thought they sounded great, so I made 'em.  Now, we don't do spicy*, so I was the only one who ate the meat stuff as written, but Mr. Kluges enjoyed his plain cooked turkey wraps with a sprinkle of rice vinegar and some Chinese 5 Spice Powder, and declared them yum.  I added carrot ribbons (peel your carrot as usual, then just keep attacking it with the peeler - viola! Carrot ribbons!) to the mix both for color and the additional vegetable and would totally do so every time.  My girls decided that carrot ribbons wrapped around fresh mint leaves were da bomb, so you know, whatever.  We had these with a side of soba noodles, too. Also, these are really a hot weather food, so plan for them on a summer day, not this rainy, cold crap we're having here today.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
(via Epicurious via Amalah)
Serves 4

1 Tbl. peanut oil [I just used olive oil.]
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 c. purchased Asian peanut sauce
1 Tbl. hoisin sauce
1 Tbl. soy sauce, plus additional for dipping
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/4 c.)
1/3 c. coarsely chopped fresh mint plus 1/3 c. small mint sprigs
[optional, but yummy - 2-3 carrots turned into carrot ribbons]
12 large butter lettuce leaves [or any large lettuce leaf - maybe even cabbage???]

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add turkey and saute until brown [but not very brown, 'cuz burnt ground turkey is dry and crunchy and yucky] and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes.  Add peanut sauce, hoisin sauce and 1 Tbl. soy sauce; heat through. (Can be made 8 hours ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Reheat in microwave or skillet, adding water by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary, before continuing.) Stir in cucumber and chopped mint (I skipped adding this mint.). Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer turkey mixture to medium bowl.  Place mint sprigs and lettuce leaves on platter. To make wraps, spoon turkey mixture onto lettuce leaf, add a few mint sprigs (I preferred mine w/o the mint), [add optional carrot ribbons, too], fold in sides over filling, and roll up.  Pass additional soy sauce alongside wraps for dipping.

 *and by "don't do spicy," I mean I adventurously mix some medium salsa in with my mild, so you know, YOU might want to spice yours up a bit!