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Lettuce Wrap

Lettuce Wrap

Lettuce Wraps are so popular these days and I can see why. These Wraps are not exactly like the ones that you get at that famous China Bistro everyone is flocking to (me included, if I can persuade my husband), but they are pretty darn close. Once you get all the specialty ingredients together they are a breeze to make. A couple of  things though, next time I would double the sauce portion. I would have liked the filling to be a little more moist. Also I used Iceberg lettuce simply because I couldn’t find Boston lettuce, I use ground chicken and I choose to use red bell pepper and peas which gave the filling a nice splash of color. I served the Lettuce Wraps with the leftover Chinese Dumplings I made earlier (which froze really well).

Lettuce Wraps Ingredients

Ingredients:

For the Sauce: (for a more moist filling you may want to double the sauce portion)

1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce

2 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

freshly ground black pepper

For the Filling:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 stalks scallions (green onions)

1 pound ground turkey or chicken

2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen pea/carrots, finely diced bell peppers, etc.)

1/2 green apple, finely diced

Wrap:

1 head Boston  lettuce, leaves washed and separated

Directions:

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

To make the filling, heat wok or large frying pan on high heat with cooking oil. When oil is hot, add scallions, ginger and garlic and fry a few seconds until fragrant. Add ground turkey or chicken and fry until almost cooked through. Add the vegetables and cook 1 minute. Add sauce ingredients. Let simmer for 1 minute to thicken slightly.

Add the apples. Toss to coat. immediately remove from heat. You don’t want to “cook” the apples, keep them nice and crunchy. Serve in lettuce leaves.

Lettuce Wraps

Source: adapted from Steamy Kitchen

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Chinese Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings

The first time I had Chinese Dumplings was many years ago when my husband Joe and I were visiting my brother-in-law Michael in Manhattan, NY. Michael was the one who ordered dumplings and I tried one of his. Turns out these soft little pockets are packed full of flavor and the dipping sauces you can use are endless. The ingredient list is not as  complicated as one might think and making the filling is easy. However, it is a little time-consuming assembling the dumplings but it’s well worth the effort and it can be done ahead of time.

Making Chinese Dumplings

Making Chinese Dumplings

Ingredients:

8 oz cabbage, roughly chopped

1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1/4 cup chopped green onions

2/3 lb ground pork

a pinch of pepper

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

2 tsp sesame oil

1 package wonton wrappers

for the slurry: 1 tbsp cornstarch + 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Place the cabbage in a food processor and process until finely minced. Remove the cabbage to a bowl, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, add ginger, green onions, pork, pepper, soy sauce, sherry and sesame oil. Pulse 4-5 times to mix ingredients. Set aside.

Place the cabbage on a clean towel or cheese cloth and wring out excess liquid. Place cabbage back into bowl and add the pork mixture. Gently stir to blend cabbage and pork.

Mix together the slurry. Place a wonton wrapper on a dry surface and paint edges with slurry mixture. Place a generous teaspoonful of pork mixture in center of wonton wrap and fold up all four edges to a point making sure all edges are sealed tightly. Place on a baking sheet and keep covered with moist paper towels while making the rest of the dumplings. Make sure dumplings do not touch each other on the baking sheet.

When all dumplings area assembled, cook immediately or cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for up to several hours. To cook, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. When boiling, gently add 1/3 of dumplings and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and repeat with remaining dumplings. Serve with hot chili sauce or potsticker dipping sauce. If freezing dumplings, freeze raw dumplings after assembling them. Freeze as-is on a plate or on the baking sheet. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag.

Source: adapted from Steamy Kitchen, originally from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

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