Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

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This recipe was inspired by Giada De Laurentiis, one of my food heroes on Food Network. I started making this awesome dish a few years ago. Most Thai restaurants serve this as a starter, called “larb,” but I find that it’s super healthy as a main dish also — think lettuce wraps from Cheesecake Factory, only way better! These babies are full of flavor and make great leftovers. Aromatic mint is the key ingredient here. You can also substitute the turkey for pork or beef. I prefer ground turkey or chicken to keep it low-cal. Forever watching my girlish figure!

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the dressing
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons honey
For the filling
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 3 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 4-inch piece lemongrass, minced
  • 1 Thai chile pepper or serrano chile, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh basil or Thai basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce or savoy cabbage (light green leaves only), leaves separated
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Optional: sticky white or brown rice, for serving
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and honey. Set aside.
  2. For the filling: In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, lemongrass, chile pepper, and water chestnuts. Cook about 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the ground turkey, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until the meat and vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the dressing to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint and basil. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Forming a cup with the lettuce leaves, place a spoonful of the turkey mixture into a lettuce cup and top with chopped peanuts and extra basil. Squeeze lime juice over lettuce cups. Serve with sticky rice, if desired.

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