Saturday, 24 January 2015

Lettuce Wraps: what type of lettuce is best?

One of our favorite things to have for dinner is lettuce wraps.  When starting this journey, I really wanted to try a new lettuce wrap recipe.  Lo and behold....I discovered this recipe while watching an episode of "The Biggest Loser" while channel surfing one night.
This recipe was interesting as it was something different from what we usually make.  It was a lot of prep work, so it would be nice to have a prep partner or to make the salsa ahead of time next time.  The recipe uses a LOT of cilantro, which I like, as I am always struggling to use up my cilantro before it starts to turn bad.  The salsa was GREAT!  We loved how refreshing it was and loved the mint.  I think that half of the salsa recipe would suffice or just plan to use it in other recipes in the next few days.  All in all, this recipe was good, but we think we may like my recipe just a little better (see below).  Perhaps a combo of the two would be fabulous!  For example, we prefer to garnish with grated carrot and grated cucumber instead of chopped spinach as there is more crunch.   I am also not quite sure of the rice vinegar flavour, yet, either.  It confused my taste buds as I am used to my flavours.  Using the salsa and lettuce from this recipe with my meat mixture and garnish might just be perfect.
Now...the lettuce debate....We have always used iceberg lettuce as our wrap, with the occasional use of romaine.  Butter lettuce and radicchio lettuce were completely new as lettuce wraps for us.  I loved the sweetness of the butter lettuce with this recipe.  I found the radicchio a bit too bitter.  However....the radicchio was sturdier and offered more texture in contrast to the soft, messier butter lettuce.  The best combo was butter lettuce with a layer of radicchio inside to help each other out.   The radicchio offered more physical strength to the wrap while the butter lettuce toned down the bitterness of the radicchio.  Sorry iceberg, you may have been replaced as the wrap for our lettuce wraps.  Out with the with the new!
Lettuce Wraps (or turkey tacos)

Radicchio vs. Butter Lettuce

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps


1 garlic clove, minced

¼ red pepper, chopped

250g ground beef

2.5mL minced gingerroot (1/2 tsp.)

30 mL soy sauce  (2 tbsp.)

5 mL chili sauce (1 tsp.)

2.5mL sesame oil  (1/2 tsp.)

½ head lettuce

Garnish:  lime wedges, hoisin sauce, chopped green onion, shredded carrot, shredded cucumber, and/or chopped cilantro


1) Cook garlic, gingerroot, and ground beef in large frying pan until beef is brown.  Add red pepper and sauté.

2) Add soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil; reduce heat to low and simmer 3-4 minutes.

3) Transfer to bowl.

4) Arrange garnish on platter. 
5) Place filling and garnish on lettuce leaf.  Wrap and enjoy! 




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