Spiced Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Green Apple and Butter Lettuce


4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, diced
2/3 cup shiitake mushrooms, diced
20 ounces ground turkey
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon toasted and ground coriander
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons rice wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 head butter lettuce
hoisin sauce, for serving


Heat 3 tablespoons peanut oil over high heat in a large skillet.
Add the cremini and shiitake mushrooms.
Get those mushrooms nice and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
Remove from pan and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and coriander.
Place the ground turkey and spices in a large bowl and mix together with a fork.
Add another tablespoon of peanut oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
Add the spiced turkey meat.
Sauté until browned and cooked through.
Add the mushrooms back into the skillet.
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice wine, and oyster sauce.
Pour over the meat and mushroom mixture.
Reduce the heat and let everything cook together for a minute or two.
Take off heat.
To assemble the wraps, brush hoisin sauce on a leaf, pile on the meat mixture, then add the scallions and apple.


Lettuce wraps are an event. They are what I like to think of as an “active food.” And if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I love active foods. Dipping, wrapping, assembling, breaking open, I’m a big fan of these things. Your food isn’t just heaped on a plate and placed in front of you with some utensils, ready to be shoveled in. Active foods, in this case lettuce wraps, make the eating process a ritual, and something I can look forward to for days, or even weeks. Lettuce wraps are perfect example of this. First, you pick your perfect lettuce leaf. Then you spread just the right amount of hoisin over the leaf. Then you pile in the filling – but not too much. Then, in this case, comes a sprinkling of diced apple and chopped scallions, before finally cupping up the wrap. Only then can you start thinking about taking a bite – a glorious bite filled with a symphony of flavors and textures – meaty mushrooms, spiced pieces of turkey, crunchy, sweet apple, and bitter scallions. And once you are done that wrap, you start the process all over again. After wiping all the juices off your arm …


Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 9:14am

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