A number of years ago, Craig and I were in Arizona and tried a new restaurant to us called PF Chang‘s. We had their Asian lettuce wraps, this was before the whole lettuce wrap craze. Well, we fell in love then learned how to make them at home, and…… make them on a pretty regular basis.
The other day I found a recipe for Sambal Oleck lettuce wraps. Now Sambal Oleck is one of my favorite Asian sauces, which is odd, as I don’t like spicy things. It’s a red chili and garlic paste that you can add to many different dishes to amp up the spice, if you like. Below is the recipe that I made last night for dinner.
Sambal Oleck Turkey Lettuce Cups
with Mushrooms, Pepper & Sunflower Seeds
- 16 oz Ground Turkey
- 8 oz Mushrooms, chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 head Butter Lettuce
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
- 1 Piece Ginger, grated
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tbsps Roasted Sunflower Seeds
- 1 Red, Yellow, Or Orange Bell Pepper, Julianed
- Combine the chopped garlic and chopped ginger in a bowl.
- Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves.
- In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, and as much of the sambal oelek as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.
- In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the turkey; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add half the sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the turkey is coated and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a large bowl.
- In the pan of reserved fond, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushroom pieces in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Add the chopped garlic and ginger; season with salt and pepper (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the sliced pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat.
- Add the cooked cooked turkey; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve the lettuce leaves, filling, remaining sauce, and sunflower seeds separately.
- Assemble each cup using 2 lettuce leaves.
- I usually serve this with some cooked rice.