Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps
August is one of the best times for farm produce - tomatoes, zucchini, peppers are in abundance. I loved getting my weekly CSA distribution but it was challenging to find a way to use all my vegetables. This recipe for lettuce wraps is one way I found to use my summer veggies.
The nice thing about this recipe is its versatility. You may switch out vegetables or make it more/less spicy depending on your taste. If you don't like turkey you can use chicken or pork or even tofu. Use this recipe is a guide and experiment to find the right mix of protein and vegetables for you.
I use a mixture of fresh, dried, and canned vegetables in this recipe. I like the variety of tastes and textures - from the meatiness of the black Chinese mushrooms to the crunch of water chestnuts and the freshness of the farm vegetables - they all come together beautifully.
A word about prep...
Like most Chinese dishes, the key to this recipe is prepping everything before you start cooking. When chopping the vegetables, you want everything to be about the same size so they'll easily fit into the lettuce cups.
- Zucchini, peppers, and onions - cut into ¼" dice
- Fresh mushrooms (white button, enoki, oyster, etc.) - roughly chop into smaller pieces, they will cook down
- Dried black Chinese mushrooms - soak and then cut into ¼" dice
- Hot peppers - chop finely; discard seeds and ribs, if desired, to reduce the amount of heat in the dish
- Water chestnuts - use sliced instead of whole for easier chopping. Be sure to rinse well to remove the tinny taste. Cut into rough, small dice. If you're able to find fresh water chestnuts that would be preferable but they can be difficult to find and take more time to peel and prep