The first time I ever tried a lettuce cup was a few years back when we visited PF Chang’s. As soon as we returned home, I instantly started searching for recipes for how I could make up my own lettuce cups and I ended up making these delicious Weight Watchers Beef Moo Shoo Lettuce Cups.
I had actually forgot all about my LOVE for lettuce cups until I saw these Spicy Turkey Lettuce Cups in Food Network Magazine. I knew I had to make them and I have had them on our menu for a few weeks now. Tonight they made their debut on our dinner table and they were a hit even with the non-Thai Food loving husband.
I originally planned on following the recipe to a T, but, as I started cooking, I decided to work with what I had on hand and incorporate some of my favorite Thai flavors into the mix.
I think the key to making lettuce wraps delicious is to layer on flavors. I wanted to make sure you could taste the zesty “coconut” lime with the subtle sweetness of the teriyaki sauce. I infused flavor into the noodles by subbing out the peanut oil for Sweet Chili Sauce and Spicy Peanut Dressing making these lettuce wraps reminiscent of these Fresh Avocado Rolls with Sweet Chili LIme Dipping Sauce.
These wraps work well as an appetizer on “endive” and for a light, refreshing and crisp summer weeknight meal.
THAI COCONUT LIME LETTUCE WRAPS (print it!)
- 4 ounces thin rice noodles
- 2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 2 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 limes juiced and 1 zested
- 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), thinly sliced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup dry roasted cashews, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
- 16 romaine lettuce leaves, separated
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1. Cook the noodles as the label directs, then drain and divide into 2 bowls. Toss the first batch with the sweet chili sauce and the second batch with the peanut dressing.
2. Whisk the lime juice and 1/2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce in a small bowl, set aside. Combine the jalapeno (remove seeds for less heat), ginger and lime zest in a mini food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Heat the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pepers, then, cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add the ginger mixture and cook 1 minute. Add the turkey and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon teriyaki sauce and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice mixture, cashews, green onions and cilantro.
5. Build your wraps ~ start by placing the lettuce leaf down, then, topping with about 1/3 oz of the noodles and 1/3 cup of the turkey mixture. Sprinkle with a pinch of coconut and enjoy!
Makes 12 lettuce wraps, 3 points+ each
Nutritional information per lettuce wrap calculated at caloriecount.com
STEP – BY – STEP:
Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. add onion and bell pepper. Saute 5 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, chop the jalapeno, ginger and lime.
Add the ginger mixture to the onions & peppers, then, cook an additional minute.
Add the turkey, 1/2 the teriyaki sauce and cook until browned. Remove from heat and add the teriyaki lime juice mixture, green onions and cilantro.
Sprinkle with nuts (I used almond slices with cashews since I didn’t have enough on hand of either).
I decided I wanted to toss my noodles with 2 flavors and save on points+ by not using the oil.
1/2 my noodles were tossed with Sweet Chili Sauce.
1/2 were tossed with Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette.
I placed everything on the table and we “built” our lettuce wraps. I like using romaine because it’s crisp and refreshing, however, you could also use butter leaf lettuce.
I added 1/3 of an ounce of noodles on top of my lettuce cups. 1 with peanut noodles, 1 with sweet chili noodles and 1 with both. I couldn’t pick a favorite because all were delicious!
Top each with a heaping 1/3 cup of the lime turkey mixture.
Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut, wrap it up and eat it just like a burrito.