Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For My Loving Cup: Lettuce Cups

I first met lettuce cups on the hubs and my very first dinner date after moving to San Fran. We had been in town about a week, it was our first Friday night in the city by the bay. We found an Asian fusion restaurant by the name of Betelnut and the hubs made a reservation. Everything sounded insanely delicious on the menu, including the dirty sake martini, which I enjoyed immensely. We ordered a bunch of different items: chile-crusted calamari, Szechuan green beans (the hubs' fave!), something with Kobe beef that I don't recall the name of but it was damn good, and of course... lettuce cups!

I've tried to re-create these lettuce cups many times and somehow I manage to lose every recipe I've found after the first time I use it. Some of them have been great, others... not so much. BUT- I found this delicious recipe on one of my new found food blog loves- Crepes of Wrath. I made a tweak because sometimes I'm kind of a dummy and forget major components at the grocery store and in this instance, I forgot the beef... oh silly me! But alas, a good little modern housewife must be able to improvise and thus, I did just that. I had some ground turkey and ground pork in the freezer so I combined the 2 and well, it wasn't half bad... and healthier to boot! I have to say though, that is one of the best things about this dish. We originally had it with chicken at Betelnut and the Crepes of Wrath recipe calls for beef. I love it with beef, but all proteins work well. So all in all, this recipe was a success and now that I've documented my source here, I'll never lose it again!

Asian Lettuce Cups

16 lettuce or cabbage leaves
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground turkey1 tbsp cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tsps sesame oil

Rinse lettuce leaves with water and pat dry. Set aside.

In a large skillet over high heat, brown pork and turkey in oil. Drain and set aside. Cook onion in same pan until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, green onions, sesame oil, and continue cooking just until the onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes more. Serve mixture in a bowl with lettuce leaves on the side for diners to make their own lettuce wraps. 

Recipe adapted from Crepes of Wrath

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