- Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD
Asian Lettuce Wraps & Chow Mein
Impress your friends and family with these amazing, easy Asian Lettuce Wraps. They are incredibly delicious, easy to make, and packed with vegetables. They taste so good, your family won’t even know you are making them eat healthy!
Who doesn’t love delicious lettuce wraps at PF Changs or Cheesecake Factory? They are so good! Now you can make them at home. Personally, I think these are even better. And they have the bonus of being really healthy—not overly sweet, and chuck full of veggies—bean sprouts, shredded carrots, water chestnuts, snow peas and onion.
One reason you might shy away from Asian dishes is the list of unusual ingredients they often utilize. Typically lettuce wraps are made with ground chicken. I have seen this at the grocery store, but it’s not a common way of buying chicken. I made these with ground turkey—it’s easily found, and quite inexpensive. And no one can tell the difference!
The sauce is simple, with very little added sugar. There is some in the Hoisin sauce, and 2 tsp of honey in the sauce. This is significantly less than the PF Chang copycat recipes, but it still tastes great! You can substitute teriyaki sauce for the Hoisin sauce if desired.
I like to make these a bit spicy with the crushed red pepper flakes. It adds a nice kick that rounds out the flavor. However that means the kids won’t like it very much. I served them plain ground turkey in the lettuce wrap, with the snow peas and carrots on the side.
Now about the chow mein—this is one that did utilize a few strange ingredients. I had never before used Oyster sauce or Fish sauce. They are not a huge part of the recipe—using only a ½ to 1 Tbsp. You could probably omit them with out too much notice. However, if you are willing to get these ingredients, I think they add to the overall flavor profile of the dish.
I made this with regular old spaghetti noodles—they are inexpensive, readily available, and work great. No need for expensive specialty noodles. Beef it up with shredded cabbage (I used a coleslaw mix for simplicity) and julienned carrots and onions, and you get a pretty hearty dish!
3 lettuce wraps (about 3 Tbsp filling per leaf)
1 cup chow mein
2/3 cup Mandarin Oranges
Recipe Used in this meal:
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Serving size: 3 wraps, 3 tbsp filling per leaf
1 lb ground turkey
¾ cup onion (diced)
1 ½ cup carrot (shredded)
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts
¾ (14-oz) can bean sprouts
2 cups snow peas
Bib or Boston Lettuce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
1 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp honey
¾ tsp cornstarch
Prep the veggies: dice the onion, shred the carrot, dice the water chestnuts, drain and rinse the bean sprouts, and slice the snow peas in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Brown the turkey over medium-high heat, crumbling it as it cooks. Drain excess liquid.
Add onion and cook until translucent.
In a separate bowl, mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes, honey and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
Add the carrots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and snow peas to the meat in the skillet. Sauté for 30 seconds, then pour the sauce over the whole mixture. Stir to combine, and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Divide into lettuce leaves. Serve warm.
Serving size: 1 cup
8 oz thin spaghetti noodles
1 cup onion (sliced thin)
1 cup carrots (julienned)
¾-1 lb shredded cabbage
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp cornstarch
In a large saucepan, cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, prepare the vegetables. Slice the onion, peel and julienne the carrots.
Once noodles are done cooking, drain, and allow to sit in a colander. In the same large saucepan, sauté onions and carrots. Add cabbage. Return noodles to pan. Remove from heat.
In a small sauce pan, combine soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, pepper and cornstarch. Cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Boil 3 minutes until sauce is thickened.
Pour sauce over noodles mixture and stir to combine. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:
Nutrition Facts Label for Asian Lettuce Wraps:
Nutrition Facts Label for Chow Mein: