One of the best parts of eating out is that you can leisurely order a few appetizers, enjoy them and then order dinner. But a lettuce wrap (vegetarian or non-vegetarian) is one of those few appetizers that I could just eat as the main course 🙂 They are light and very healthy. I know if I order this in a restaurant, I will not stop at one serving unless others at the table finish it before I do 😦
Who says you can’t have an appetizer as the main course? So, whenever I make this at home, I make enough to satisfy all my cravings! I eat it just as the main course. It is a very simple dish to make, very versatile. Even if you don’t have all the ingredients, you can swap with something else and it will still taste good! Today I have made these wraps with ground turkey which is a lot healthier than beef, but I have made them with tofu also, depending upon what I have at home. Sometimes if I have Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) I finely shred it and add to the mix. Rest of the essential ingredients – onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Sriracha/chili sauce I almost always have at home. If you don’t have water chestnuts, no problem, either make the wraps without them or add if you have mushrooms or a can of bamboo shoots then add finely diced mushrooms or minced bamboo shoots.
As far as the dumpling sauce is concerned I have already given the alternates below. It takes maybe 10-15 minutes to prep up all the ingredients and another 10 minutes to make the dish. So either you can have an awesome appetizer for your next party in 20 minutes or if you are like me, a fantastic dinner in 20 minutes!
Ground Turkey/ Ground Chicken/ Tofu – 1 lb.
Onion – 1 small, diced finely
Ginger – 2” piece, minced
Garlic — 1 clove, minced
Water chestnuts – 1 can or 1/2 cup drained and rinsed, diced finely (also called Singhaare in India)
Canola oil – 1 T
Soy sauce – 2 ½ T
Sriracha sauce — 1 T or lesser depends upon your taste (can use any chili paste)
Any Dumpling dipping sauce – 1 ½ T OR use Hoisin sauce OR just increase the soy sauce by 1T and add 1 t sugar)
Rice vinegar — 1 t (or plain vinegar)
Water — ¼ cup
Iceberg Lettuce or any lettuce you might have
- Heat the pan/wok. Add the oil and then onion. Sauté till slightly brown.
- Then add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Then add the water chestnuts. Sauté for a minute or so.
- Finally add the ground turkey or chicken. I use a potato masher to break the pieces down but even a spoon is fine.Cook till all the liquid has been absorbed and meat is well cooked and brownish in color. In case you want to make with tofu then finely dice it and then add to onion mixture. Sauté tofu gently for only 2-3 minutes otherwise it will become mush. For tofu add some more oil in case it starts sticking to the pan.
- While the meat/tofu is cooking, add all the sauce ingredients to small bowl and mix well.
- Add the sauce mix to the cooked meat/tofu and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes till majority of liquid has dried.
- Serve in lettuce cups and Enjoy!
Total Servings: 10
Per Serving: 87 cal, Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 34 mg, Sodium 90 mg, Carbs 1 g, Protein 8.7 g