Asian Lettuce Wraps

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Our family enjoyed a unique Christmas brunch this year, different from the usual heavy cinnamon rolls, brunch bakes or eggs benny. We were privileged to be the first ones to enjoy the freshly harvested lettuce from our exciting new project on the farm, and rather than use it for a salad, we made lettuce the star of the show with turkey lettuce wraps. This entree is the perfect way to kick off the New Year, as besides being packed with flavour and easy to prepare,  they’re healthy and low carb as well.  

Don’t even think about serving them without the fantastic drizzling sauce! The crispy noodles and peanuts add the perfect crunch to each bite and the cilantro or green onion adds a fresh herb flavour. As each lettuce wrap is just a few tasty bites, you can experiment with adding different toppings to each one and decide which is your favourite.

This Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad or Asian Cucumber Salad are fantastic side dishes to round out this healthy meal. 

Ingredients

1 head Lepp Farms Butter Lettuce

1 lb ground chicken, turkey or pork  (Disclosure: I’m not a white meat eater, I find it quite bland, so I always use ground thigh meat rather than breast meat, and our butchers would be happy to do that for you as well!) 

1 tbsp. neutral flavoured oil, such as peanut, avocado or grapeseed

½ onion, minced

1 cup red or green pepper, diced into ¼ inch pieces

8 oz can water chestnuts drained and minced, optional

Drizzling Sauce:

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. The Wooden Boat Nuoc Cham (can use rice vinegar instead but this has so much more flavour)

1 tsp. soya sauce

¼ tsp. Little Saigon Hot Chili oil (can replace with Sriracha)

For the Sauce:

3 tbsp. soya sauce

3 tbsp. Little Saigon hoisin sauce 

1 tbsp. sesame oil 

1 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tbsp. peanut butter

1 tbsp. honey 

2 tsp. sweet chili sauce

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp. finely chopped or grated fresh ginger

To Serve:

Crispy Noodles

Chopped Peanuts

Cilantro leaves

Drizzling Sauce 

Little Saigon Peanut Sauce

Method

Prepare drizzling sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Set aside to allow flavours to blend. Taste again just before serving and add more chili oil if you like it hot! 

Whisk together sauce ingredients until well combined. Natural peanut butter tends to be firmer than the big name brands, so if that’s what you’re using, the peanut butter may need to heated in the microwave for 30-60 seconds in order to melt it and ensure everything is well-mixed

Heat oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add ground meat.

Cook until some pieces are starting to brown. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is becoming translucent.

Add the peppers and water chestnuts, if using, and cook another 5 minutes or until peppers are becoming soft.

Add sauce and simmer on low heat until the meat and veggies are evenly coated and everything is heated through.

Separate Lepp’s Butter Lettuce into individual leaves.  Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into a leaf. Drizzle with some delicious sauce.

Pass additional toppings around, and enjoy the fun of eating messy, drippy, delicious lettuce wraps! 

To toast noodles or peanuts, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toast for 3 minutes, stir and continue toasting for 1 or 2 more minutes until golden brown.  Watch carefully as they go from golden brown to burnt very quickly!

This recipe uses lettuce from our new Greenhouse! We’re now growing butter lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce and romaine lettuce right here in Abbotsford. That means you’ll be able to buy lettuce at the market that has been harvested the same day (fresh!) and has only traveled within Abbotsford to get to you.

Watch: Tour of Lepp Farm Greenhouse!