I have been wanting to post this favorite recipe of mine for a looooong time and I’ve finally gotten around to perfecting the recipe AND snapping some pics of the whole process.
I’m still working on finding my groove with this whole food blogging thing, and often I can’t get my act together when I have a brilliant idea but I’m making something after I get home from work and have to go to the grocery store and then hurriedly cook the food (because I’m staaaarving, borderline hangry). I rarely have the patience or make the time to also have my notebook handy to write everything down and also have my camera handy…oh, and also have enough daylight to shoot decent photos. Help?!! How do all of my blogger friends (with other full time jobs) do it? Please share. Must learn to juggle with multiple balls in the air. K, thanks.
I originally created this recipe with my dad, which we (very loosely) based off of P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps. Since I’ve been on my own (and am no longer under the same roof as the guy who never writes down a recipe but always seems to remember exactly how much of everything he puts in something), they’ve slowly morphed into something slightly different, yet still the general principle is the same (and the deliciousness level has not changed either, I pinky promise you.)
That all being said, I want you to feel liberated with this recipe. As you can see from the title, I’m not even going to try and pigeon-hole you into a certain type of protein. Do what you will! Experiment! As long as it comes in ground/minced form, it’s fair game. I’ve used ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey (what I used in this recipe), even tofu!!! I hope you get as excited as I do when you think about the possibilities.
You can also easily adjust the level of spice in these puppies. I myself like a good “zing,” which is why I added in the diced jalapenos (definitely not our original recipe.) But feel free to leave them out! Or, if you’re serving them to a group with mixed heat tolerances, serve them as a garnish along with the cilantro.
I could go on and on with so many other variations, but I’ll spare you and just get on with the recipe. But please, please do share if you make these and come up with some other amazing addition that I should know about! I love hearing your comments. Lettuce wrap on, my friends…
- 2 tablespoons coconut or avocado oil
- 1 pound ground turkey or other ground meat of your choice, tofu works too
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 jalapeno minced (optional)
- ½ cup hoisin
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 – 8-ounce can water chestnuts drained and chopped
- 2 green onions both green and white parts, chopped
- ¾ cup unsalted cashews toasted and chopped
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Anything else that sounds good! More jalapeno? Cherry tomatoes? etc. etc.
- Large romaine or butter lettuce leaves
- Heat oil in large, deep skillet or wok (if you have one.) Add ground meat (or tofu) and stir until just starting to brown. Add garlic and jalapenos; continue to stir until all meat is lightly browned and garlic and jalapenos become fragrant.
- Add hoisin, sesame oil, sambal oelek and maple syrup, stir until combined.
- Stir in water chestnuts and green onions, let simmer for a few minutes to let everything meld together.
- Right before serving, stir in toasted cashews. Garnish with cilantro (and anything else your heart desires.)
- Serve with lettuce leaves (as demonstrated below.)
Wine Pairing Suggestions: I sipped on a delicious Sauvignon Blanc from Clif Family Winery that we picked up on our last trip to Napa. The bright key lime, lychee and honeydew flavors are the perfect accompaniment to the spicy yet light flavors in these wraps.
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