A few weeks ago, I had lettuce wraps at our local Asian Fusion restaurant, and my taste buds fell in love. I wanted to try making my own, but I was feeling very lazy. The ingredients were easy enough - but I was stuck on the sauce. On Friday night, I was searching Pinterest for variations on lettuce wraps, when I saw one for Mapo Tofu lettuce wraps and it occurred to me that I had some Mabo Nasu sauce in my pantry. Yes, I know that is an Indonesian website, but it was the only link I could find for Mabo Nasu. It's a common Chinese sauce mix (seet and a bit spicy) that you should be able to find at most Asian grocery stores. So - let's get started - here are my ingredients:
The only things missing from the picture are the olive oil, garlic, and the cashews.
1.25lbs extra lean ground turkey breast (99% fat free)
1 package Mabo Nasu sauce
2 TBSP minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 water chesnuts, chopped
1.5 TBSP olive oil
1.5c shredded carrots (about 3 handfuls)
3 scallions, chopped (whites and greens)
1 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and put in fridge to keep cold.
0.25c cashews, chopped
Rice - cook separately (as much as you think you may need - it's a side dish)
Put your olive oil, turkey, garlic, and ginger in a pot, and cook the turkey over medium-high heat until completely white - breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small bits. You shouldn't need to drain it because there is so little fat here. Add in your carrots and Mabo Nasu sauce mix, and stir. Turn the mixture to low, and add in the scallions, water chestnuts, and cashews. Cook until thoroughly combined and carrots have softened a little.
I have to say - the most difficult thing about this entire process was trying to peel the leaves off the head of lettuce intact! There must be a secret to this.
Makes 5 servings (our in our case, dinner for everyone and lunch for me tomorrow!)
Spoon a little meat mix into a lettuce leaf, roll in a bit so the stuffing doesn't fall out, and enjoy!
Even Piper enjoyed her more deconstructed wraps:
It was funny - I gave her bits separately because I thought she would prefer it that way - but when she saw us wrapping ours up, she started to do the same thing with hers. Smart girl!
And if you have run out of lettuce leaves, you can eat the rest with some rice!
I do think I will make some adjustments to this the next time I make it - I would like it to be a bit saucier, so I think I will use 2 sauce packages next time. It could also be kicked up a notch in spice level - maybe a pinch or two of red pepper and maybe double the ginger? But all in all, everyone liked it and looks forward to having it again.