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Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Southeast Asian Flavors

A leaner take on larb, the beloved Southeast Asian dish made with ground pork, this seasoned ground turkey mixture is wrapped in tender lettuce-leaf packets. For a casual dinner, place the cooked turkey and lettuce leaves on the table and let diners help themselves. If you like, serve a salad of shredded carrot and daikon radish, dressed with seasoned rice vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil 
  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions 
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • 1 1/4 lb. ground dark-meat turkey 
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce 
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar 
  • 16 butter lettuce leaves (from 2 small heads) 
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish 
  • Hoisin sauce for serving (optional) 

Directions:

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil and toasted sesame oil. Add the green onions, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes.

Add the turkey to the pan and cook, stirring to break it into pieces, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

To serve, spoon about 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, top with a few basil leaves or shreds, and wrap the lettuce leaf around the filling. Drizzle with 1/2 tsp. hoisin sauce, or to taste. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).