Monday, August 22, 2011

Vegetable Lettuce Wraps

I just love chicken lettuce wraps you get as appetizers in quite a few restaurants. There are so many different flavors, you can customize your own, it's kind of like a version of a fajita plate with different flavors.

After having these as appetizers the last time I went to visit Tim, I decided to try my hand at my own version. I did some experimenting, and I think this recipe is great. No, it doesn't contain any meat, but with all the mushrooms, I didn't miss it.

I did try out several different options for lettuce - including whats seen in the pictures - Napa cabbage. I must say - I think iceberg lettuce is the best choice for this. It provides a nice crunch, tears easily enough when you bite into it, yet provides enough structure so you don't have a lap full of filling. I must admit, I thought my idea for cabbage was a good one, but it just didn't pan out. It didn't add any flavor and almost always tore the wrong way, so I would get some spilling.

This recipe makes enough for 4-6 wraps - depending on how much filling you want in yours. It's perfect for an appetizer, but also works great for 2 for a full meal. For a printed recipe, click here.

Vegetable Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4 as appetizers
½ cup carrots, chopped into small pieces
½ cup celery, chopped into small pieces
4 oz. button mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
4 oz. shitake mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
2 green onions, chopped (including whites)
4-6 lettuce leaves – best are iceberg, bib, or even napa cabbage
1 T. grated ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. soy sauce
½ t. pepper
½ t. sugar
2 T. hoisin sauce
½ T. oyster sauce
½ t. rice wine vinegar
Heat a saute pan over medium high heat. Add oil and both types of mushrooms. Saute 2 minutes, then add carrots and celery. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until carrots start to tenderize. Turn off heat and add ginger and garlic clove. Slowly add remaining ingredients except lettuce leaves. Toss all vegetables together until well coated in sauce. Taste for your seasoning preference, and add more soy sauce or pepper as needed.
Divide into 4 portions and serve with lettuce leaves.

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