In this house, we have been eating salads nightly. Our weekly boxes have been full of leafy greens – red and green romaine, green and red leaf lettuce, spring mixes, frisee… There’s nothing like eating a fresh, crisp salad while I wait for dinner to cook. And there’s nothing easier than grilling a piece of chicken, chopping up some lettuce and other veggies, and calling it dinner. As much as we’ve enjoyed these nightly salads, I was excited to stumble across a new way to use some of our weekly lettuce share. I actually found this recipe on a friend’s Pinterest page – and if you’ve ever attempted to make something off of a Pinterest idea, you may know that it’s a mixed bag. We love Asian food (or Asian-American food, as this may be), and I had the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give it a go.
The recipe claims to be a tastier version of P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I’ve never eaten them, so I’ll let you be the judge of that! You’ll definitely want to have plenty of lettuce and filling – these are incredibly difficult to stop eating. I made enough for two nights (or 4 people), but we ended up with far less than half as leftovers.
I like using recipes that I can alter to use what I have on hand. This recipe was a great one to alter in order to use the veggies in my CSA box. (All the vegetables that I used in this dish, except for the yellow onion, were in our box.) A Google search brought results that claimed that garlic scapes basically tasted like a mild garlic; in fact, it was recommended that I use three times as much chopped garlic scapes if replacing garlic in a recipe. I’m so glad that I didn’t, as I found the flavor of the scapes to be a little off-putting. Garlic, to me, is fragrant and delicious. I felt that the scapes tasted a bit like raw, tangy garlic, even after being cooked. This is the first CSA finding that I’m not planning to use again!
Probably the most significant change I made was to the meat – I used 1/2 pound of ground turkey and 1/2 pound of ground beef. You certainly could use all turkey, all beef, or stay true to the copycat recipe and use ground chicken. I also swapped the water chestnuts for zucchini, as that was an item in our box. (Very curious as to what farm has zucchini in the beginning of June! Maybe a hothouse zucchini?)
For us, this was a great dinner find – quick and easy to prepare, and delicious to eat!
Asian Lettuce Wraps
(Adapted from DamnDelicious: PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground meat (I used 1/2 pound ground turkey and 1/2 pound ground beef)
2 cloves garlic, minced (OR 2 garlic scapes, finely minced in food processor)
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tsp Sriracha sauce (or, to taste)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 zuchinni, peeled and diced
1 head green leaf lettuce
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the ground meat in the oil, stirring occasionally to crumble the meat. Drain any excess oils.
Add in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger and Sriracha. Stir for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add zucchini and green onion, cooking until tender (about 2 minutes).
Serve a spoonful of meat filling on each lettuce leaf, wrapping the lettuce around the meat. Eat with your fingers to fully enjoy the deliciousness!
Serves 4. Or less.