Monday, June 8, 2009

Aunt Debby's Spicy Asian Lettuce Cups

This is a recipe that my aunt shared with me just recently that is sure to become a hit in your family as much as in ours. I love all of the fresh flavors married with a little kick and the crisp cold lettuce. This is a great weeknight meal as its quick, healthy and fun to assemble. I assure that if you try it you will not be disappointed.

Source: Aunt Debby

Makes 2 dozen
2 Tbl vegetable oil
1 medium onion (diced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts (drained, rinsed and chopped medium fine)
1 lb ground turkey, beef or pork
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
4 tsp rice wine vinegar
4 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
2 Tbl light or dark brown sugar
1 head iceburg lettuce (core removed and cut in four wedges)
¼ cup sliced scallions
¼ cup chopped peanuts

2 sliced limes (optional)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and water chestnuts and sauté until onion softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Add meat and cook, stirring frequently, until meat loses its raw color and liquid has mostly evaporated (make sure the liquid evaporates or it will dilute your sauce).

Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, oil, pepper flakes and sugar in a small bowl. Add to skillet and continue to cook until mixture has thickened to the consistency of “thick sloppy joes”. Remove from heat.

When ready to serve, lay out lettuce wedges on serving plates. Spoon meat mixture onto the lettuce cups and top with scallions and peanuts. Squeeze a bit of lime on top if desired.