When you read the title of this post did your mind immediately jump to a certain Chinese restaurant chain? Perhaps one that has those yummy spicy and sweet lettuce rolls that, last I checked, were always sitting at someone's table?
Well, these.... are not like those. But they're still so, so good.
Ground turkey (not ground turkey breast) is something I've been cooking with for years, first in chili, and then for tacos. But those were the only two things I could think to do with it. We hardly ever make burgers at home, and when we do we like to splurge and use really high quality beef. And given that there are legendary meatballs served at Dan's childhood house on a semi-regular basis, turkey meatballs are never on my menu either.
And then these lettuce wraps entered my life. Thank goodness. Given the time it took to make them (maybe 20 minutes?) and how simple they seemed, they far exceeded my expectations. I will be making them again and again. And if ground turkey's not really your thing, you could definitely use ground pork or chicken instead.
Yield: 3 servings
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ginger root, minced
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground turkey (or pork or chicken)
salt & pepper
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
Juice of one lime (or about 1/4 cup)
8 to 10 sturdy lettuce leaves such as iceburg
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the garlic and ginger in the olive oil.
2. Raise heat to medium high. Season meat with salt and pepper and add to hot skillet. Brown the meat and drain off any excess liquid or fat and discard. Add the five-spice powder, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Continue to cook until no pink remains and meat is cooked through.
3. Combine the remaining soy sauce, granulated sugar, and lime juice in a small bowl and set aside as a dipping sauce.
4. To assemble: scoop the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves and garnish with carrots, cucumber, and peanuts. Drizzle sauce over top or use as a dipping sauce.
Recipe adapted from Victoria Granof