These Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps are the perfect combination of Asian flavors and a healthy twist on the beloved lettuce wrap. Ground turkey brings a healthy substitution, garlic ginger and soy bring umami, and the lettuce cups provide a crunchy vessel to eat all of the above in!
I feel like there are some misconceptions when it comes to “healthy” food. One, who defines what healthy is? Two, why do most people think that by eating healthy you are sacrificing flavor? and Three, why is dieting culture so brainwashing? They way I look at it, is if we can make healthy swaps when available (turkey for beef) and have fun in the process (lettuce cups vs. taco shells) then its a win win for our bodies and our spirits!
When cooking without a recipe (or using a recipe as a guide and tweaking it to what you have on hand), using flavor profiles and combinations that you know work well together will be your best friend! The Kitchn has awesome tips for “cooking off the cuff” and I found an article that focuses on Asian Flavors…
“Most of these flavors work very well when combined in groupings of two, three, or more:
- Thai basil
- Soy flavorings: miso paste, fermented soybeans, and soy sauce
- Fish flavorings: fish sauce and shrimp paste
- Sesame seeds and sesame oil
- Rice vinegar “
In this Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps recipe, I used Ginger, Garlic, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, and Sesame Oil to make a sauce that flavored the filling of the wraps! This sauce is a great example of a flavor combination that would be amazing in stir frys, mixed in with noodles for sesame noodles, or even used as a dipping sauce for Pot Stickers!
TIP FOR USING FRESH GINGER: I will buy a bag of ginger at the market when it is on sale, or if you have extra on hand… Peel and slice the ginger. Place in freezer bag in single, flat layer (so they won’t freeze together into one big lump), remove as much air as possible and freeze. To use, remove as many pieces as needed, return the remainder back to the freezer. You can grate the ginger frozen, no need to thaw!
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out these other Asian Inspired recipes and save for your next #weeknightdinner!
- Sesame Noodles
- Turkey Pot Stickers
- Roasted Teryaki Mushrooms with Broccolini and Soba Noodles
- Ginger Garlic and Soy Bok Choy
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
These Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps are the perfect combination of Asian flavors and a healthy twist on the beloved lettuce wrap. Ground turkey brings a healthy substitution, garlic ginger and soy bring umami, and the lettuce cups provide a crunchy vessel to stuff our faces with all of the above!
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1lb Ground Turkey
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 Poblano Pepper, seeded and diced, (or jalapeno, or sweet green pepper)
- 1/2 Tbsp. Fresh Ground Ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Honey
- 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbs. Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 can sliced Water Chestnuts, lightly chopped
- 2c Shredded Carrots
- 1 Package Bib Lettuce
- Sesame seeds, optional for garnish
- Heat a large frying pan (or wok) on medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the vegetable oil and ground turkey, season with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Break up the meat and cook until you no longer see pink.
- As the meat cooks, combine the honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.
- Once the meat is cooked through, add in the diced onion and peppers and sauté for another few minutes until the veggies are soft.
- Add in the garlic and ginger and give the mixture a nice toss for 30 seconds.
- Pour the soy sauce mixture over the meat and let it boil down for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and place in a serving bowl
- Separate the bib lettuce leaves carefully, rinse and dry them. Place on a serving platter along side the shredded carrots and the water chestnuts to make a fun and easy assembly line.
- TO ASSEMBLE: Place a lettuce leaf (or two) down and top with a dab of shredded carrots. Then add a cup (or less) of the mixture, fold and eat like a taco!
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