Erin McDowell

While we’re all for using good table manners (and occasionally judging those who don’t), there are days when we just want to dig in and get our hands dirty. Today happens to be one of those days, which is why we’re cooking lettuce wraps for dinner. This sister to the taco takes about the same amount of prep. Sauté and season the meat, then scoop it into crisp leaves of Boston lettuce. Top it off with simple homemade pickles and a touch of hot chiles, and you’ll be glad you gave cutlery a rest.

Thai Lettuce Wraps

A PureWow Original Recipe

  • Makes 6 servings
  • Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

1 European cucumber, thinly sliced

½ bunch scallions (use the other half for the lettuce wraps)

1 cup rice vinegar

½ cup water

2 tablespoons chopped mint

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped basil

Lettuce Wraps

1 tablespoon coconut or peanut oil

½ sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ bunch scallions

1 pint cremini mushrooms, minced

1 pound ground chicken or turkey

1 tablespoon Sriracha

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated

1 Fresno chile, or other hot chile, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Make the pickled cucumbers: In a large bowl, mix the cucumbers with the scallions. Add the vinegar and water, making sure the cucumbers are submerged in the liquid. Stir in the herbs, then set aside.

2. Make the lettuce wraps: In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, scallions and mushrooms. Cook until the onion and mushrooms are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken or turkey and sauté until fully cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more.

3. Stir in the Sriracha, soy sauce and rice-wine vinegar. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the liquid has been mostly absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

4. To serve: Place the lettuce leaves on a platter and top each with a scoop of room-temperature or chilled meat mixture. Top with pickled cucumbers and Fresno chiles, if using. Serve immediately.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • These quick pickles are good for a lot more than just lettuce wraps. Keep them in the fridge for a cooling snack or a snazzy addition to a summer salad.

  • If you want to make this meal heartier, add plain noodles to the mix. Place cooked rice noodles on the lettuce leaves and then top with the meat mixture.

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