My inspiration for this recipe came years ago after having P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps which are di-vine! Although I don’t cook regularly with ingredients loaded with sodium and MSG (i.e. the soy and hoisen sauces), I figure once in a while can’t kill us. I have seen all-natural versions of these ingredients in my health food store, if you want to scout those out.
Asian Lettuce Wraps were crowned a freezer club “home run” recipe, so you can be assured that the mixture freezes well AND has our “thumbs up” rating. Plus, they are easy to make, as well as almost full proof. The hoisin sauce can cover over a multitude of sins, if needed. Bon Appetit!
- 16 Boston Bibb, butter leaf, or Romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 lb lean ground chicken (or sub ground turkey or beef)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I usually cut this back to ½ onion)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- Asian Chile pepper sauce or any hot sauce, to taste
- 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- ½ bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 4 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
- Optional: 2 cups cooked brown rice
- Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground chicken in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often. Drain, and set aside to cool. (See Slow Cooker instructions below.)
- Saute the yellow onion in the same pan over medium heat until tender, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, stir, and let simmer 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, browned meat and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the onions, carrots, and cabbage just begin to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. If mixture seems too dry, add more hoisen sauce and/or soy sauce to taste (just be cautious, as it can get too salty).
- To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat mixture into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, prepare to get messy, and enjoy! Optional: Add cooked rice to the lettuce leaf first and then top with mixture.
In large pan, saute the chicken and onions in cooking oil over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add chicken/onion mixture to slow cooker insert, along with the rest of the ingredients (garlic through sesame oil), except the lettuce and rice. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. Then, set to "warm" until ready to serve.
Freezer Meal Instructions:
Cook the veggie/meat mixture according to recipe and then freeze. When ready to serve, thaw veggie/meat mixture (either in microwave or in fridge overnight) and warm up (on stove or in microwave), rinse and fill your fresh lettuce leaves, and enjoy.