Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I've seen recipes like this one floating around out there on the internets, so I figured I could kind of fake it. This approach worked much better than with last night's quinoa burgers.

That said, I'm not sure just how Thai these really are. For me, they are a fresh twist on one of my all-time favorite foods, the taco. Plus, as you might have noticed, cilantro, lime, and Sriracha are some of my favorite flavors, and I welcome any opportunity to use them.

This recipe happens to be very low-carb, which may be appealing to you, and if you pay attention to what soy sauce you are using, it is also gluten-free. Sriracha is apparently gluten free, and while many brands make gluten-free varieties of soy sauce, every one produced by La Choy brand is gluten free. Still, if this is a concern, read your labels to be sure.

I served this with hot brown rice, which you will cook according to package directions. You could also use quinoa or something similar.

4 whole leaves of Romaine, Boston, or Butter lettuce, washed
1/3 - 1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 peanuts, chopped
1 handful fresh cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
2 green onion, thinly sliced, or about 1 tbsp. chopped chives
1/4 - 1/2 tsp sriracha, plus more for serving
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp soy sauce
Canola oil

1. In a medium to large frying pan, saute pan or wok, drizzle a bit of canola oil. Over medium heat, brown your turkey, breaking apart with a spatula.
2. Meanwhile, you can arrange your topping ingredients - your cilantro, chives, peanuts, and red onion - in small bowls for serving, if you wish. This is also a good time to wash your lettuce leaves. (We used two Romaine leaves each.)
3. In a small bowl or glass (okay, I used a jar) combine your lime juice, garlic, and soy sauce.
4. When turkey is cooked turn off the heat and drain the meat of excess oil, except for about 2 teaspoons. Pour in your lime juice mixture, add the carrot and bell pepper, and mix to combine before transferring to a serving platter.

This would be a fun dish to serve at a party with friends, or with family, if your family is sort of fun and not afraid of mess and/or Asian food. I think you could also use fish sauce, or basically any other Asian sauce in your lime juice mixture. A little sesame oil would also be good. (Since I don't know exactly what "Thai" is, I can't act like I won't use potentially foreign ingredients in these wraps in the future.)

 Basically, you should make these. They're fresh, yummy, easy to make and fun to assemble. Also, you could very easily pack this as a take-along lunch: just keep your turkey mixture separate from your lettuce, and pack a little container or baggie of mixed toppings, and as long as you're not trying to eat it in the car or something crazy, you're good to go. You might skip the rice unless you are able to heat it up come lunchtime, but I think the turkey would be just as good cold. Tah-dah!

Quote of the Day: Lettuce is like conversation; it must be fresh and crisp, so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it. ~ Charles Dudley Warner 


  1. just took turkey out of the freezer to make this tomorrow - have a gorgeous head of local butter lettuce ready to go!

  2. I can't wait to try this. I just used up some ground turkey the other day and def wish I had this instead of the dish I made. So it looks like I'm off to the grocery store!

    P.S. Your food always look SO yummy! Glad you include such great pics.

  3. Yay, I I hope you both did/will enjoy it! I'd love your feedback after the fact :-)

    Thank you for your comment on the photos, Tasha. In this kitchen it's a challenge, but I'm glad they are doing their job.