My guilty pleasure is Asian cuisine. More specifically, Chinese takeout. Back when we lived in Atlanta, I kept the local Chinese restaurant very busy, especially after the twins were born. I ordered so often that the delivery guy began to comment on how big the kids were getting and would notice when I didn’t call in an order for a while. They even recognized my voice when I called. If we would have stayed there any longer, I would probably start getting Christmas cards from them.
Needless to say, there are not many Chinese takeout spots way out here in the country. This is a good thing since there have been plenty of nights when I would have happily called in my order for General Tso’s chicken, crab wontons, Pepper Steak, and some Sweet and Sour Chicken for the kids.
Besides being expensive, Chinese takeout isn’t very figure friendly (and I’ve got high hopes for a smaller swimsuit this year). So, as I roamed the aisles of the new discount grocery in town, I found nearly all of the makings of some very yummy lettuce cups. Healthy and tasty. It’s the best of both worlds.
Chinese Lettuce Cups
- 16 leaves lettuce (use Bibb Boston, or Iceburg)
- 1 pound of lean ground beef or turkey
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T minced pickled ginger
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 1 can water chestnuts drained and chopped, 8oz
- 1 bunch of green onions chopped
- 2 t . dark Sesame oil
- Sriracha optional
Rinse lettuce leaves and gently pat dry. Set aside to dry.
In a medium skillet over high heat, add the oil and brown the beef until cooked through. Drain and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, in the same pan cook the onion until just softened. Add in the garlic, hoisin, soy sauce, ginger, and vinegar. Stir to combine. Toss in the water chestnuts, sesame oil, green onions and beef and stir until coated in sauce. Cook until heated through.
Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and fill each one with the beef mixture. Top with Sriracha sauce if you want and eat like a burrito!
Tip: You can find all of these items in you store's Asian aisle. Pickled ginger is the pink stuff you find next to your sushi. It comes in a jar and is very refreshing. Substitute 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger if you like.