The concept of one-dish meals is brilliant: one recipe to prepare; includes your protein, veg, maybe even a carb. All together, one happy family. No side dishes required.
However it’s typically only associated with casseroles, crockpots and stews. Nothing wrong with any of those, but it’s fun to occasionally mix things up a bit. These lettuce wraps do just that. It’s got your protein (ground/minced turkey) and lots, and I mean lots, of fresh veg (carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers). It’s nicely seasoned, though not spicy. But you say you want spice? That’s what the drizzling sauce is for – spice up your lettuce wrap as much as you like.
Having a food processor makes this meal extremely quick. Just be careful not to overprocess – you don’t want to end up with V8 juice or mushroom pate! If you don’t have a food processor, no worries. You’ll just need to do it the old-fashioned way and chop the veg by hand.
I’ve suggested several toppings – bean sprouts, cilantro (coriander), chopped peanuts, etc. Feel free to use as many or as few as you like. If you have some other favorites, add those as well.
Kids especially love making their own wrap – choosing their toppings, eating with their fingers. It can get a bit messy. If you are worried about mess, shred the lettuce into smaller bits and make a “lettuce wrap salad” (think taco salad). That’s actually a really nice way to eat any leftovers the following day – especially to bring along to work for lunch. Alternatively, leftovers freeze really well (freeze any extra drizzling sauce in a separate container). Assuming that there are any leftovers…….
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps (serves 6)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound (450 grams) ground/minced turkey
1 large or 2 small carrots, cut into 1” (2.5 cm) chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1” (2.5 cm) chunks
8 ounce (225 gram) can/tin water chestnuts or bamboo shoots
4 spring onions (scallions), cut into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces
10 ounces (300 grams) mushrooms
1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sriracha (hot chili sauce)
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
Rice or quinoa
Drizzling sauce (see recipe above)
In a large sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and add the turkey. Stir turkey occasionally, breaking into small chunks, until fully cooked and no longer pink.
While turkey is browning, in a large food processor combine the carrot and garlic. Pulse until medium chopped (there will still be a few larger pieces). Add the red bell pepper, water chestnuts and spring onions and continue pulsing until all ingredients are finely chopped. Be careful not to overprocess – will end up with vegetable juice! Transfer to a large bowl.
Place mushrooms in the food processor (may need to do in two batches) and pulse until finely chopped. Again, careful not to overprocess or you’ll end up with paté. Place chopped mushrooms in the large bowl along with the other chopped vegetables.
Add chopped vegetables to the browned turkey, stirring occasionally and cooking until tender, 5-10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar and cook until most of the liquid has absorbed into the turkey/vegetable mixture, 8-10 minutes.
While turkey/vegetable mix is cooking, prepare the drizzling sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
Serve the turkey/vegetable mixture with the lettuce leaves and other toppings listed above.