Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Spring Lettuce Wraps

May 4th, 2010 · 17 Comments

Spring Lettuce Wraps

Taking what was originally a recipe for spring lettuce rolls, an Oriental appetizer that is quite simple to prepare, and turned it into entree sized lettuce wraps, which took only a little tweaking of the recipe.

This recipe is adapted from the book American Wholefoods Cuisine, by Nikkie & David Goldbeck, and found on page 83 from the appetizers and hors d’oeuvres chapter in the hardcover, 1983 edition, which I have cherished since the day I put down $17.95 for my copy some time ago. Indeed, my passion for wholefoods cuisine began at home in my formative cooking years even before the professional apprenticeship.

The Goldbecks were way ahead of the their time back then, and I am happy to report that they are still alive and well promoting their spirit and healthy lifestyle online at Healthy Highways.

The tweaking involved making this an entree portion size similar to these Steamed Spring Rolls, which required increasing the ingredient volumes by about four times, and drastically reduced the amount of oil in the original recipe to meet the Eat To Live guidelines. The original recipe includes an ingredient list including dried Chinese mushrooms, slivered carrots, matchstick cuts of celery, thin strips of green onions, bean sprouts, and tofu.

For our version I used ¼ the amount of oil since I also increased the amounts of all other ingredients including the garlic, ginger, Shiitake mushrooms, carrots, celery, green onions, Napa cabbage, soy sauce, sherry, and red leaf lettuce. Instead of mung bean sprouts, however, I used some clover sprouts and kept them fresh as an accompaniment to the lettuce leaves. You can use any combination of vegetables suited to stir-fry and lettuce wraps as long as the proportions remain equal for all the other ingredients.

This expanded recipe yields about 20 lettuce wraps, since we like to have enough for several days meals and lunch too. And with the Eat To Live lifestyle, you can eat at least a pound of each, but actually unlimited quantities of cooked and raw vegetables each day, as long as there is no oil, salt, or sugar added to them in the preparation.

The ginger and garlic used in this recipe follows the basis of many Oriental dishes, the marriage of the two ingredients goes way back, and the flavors compliment so well, creating an intense profile of taste explosion. They get sauteed together in the first step of the stir-fry procedure.

The dipping sauce was some Hoisin sauce we found in the fridge, however as an idea, you can make your own peanut dipping sauce by taking some extra soy sauce, sherry, Oriental garlic chili sauce, and mixing in some smooth peanut butter to make a peanut sauce.

See more photo’s below for views of some ingredients, stir-frying, and the table serving dishes.

½ Tbsp Sesame oil, divided
1 ½ Tbsp Garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbsp Ginger, minced
2 Cups Shiitake mushrooms, julienne sliced
2 Cups Carrots, matchstick cuts
1 Cup Celery, matchstick cuts
1 ½ Cups Green onions, slivered
4 Cups Napa cabbage, shredded
2 Cups Mung bean sprouts*
½ Cup Soy sauce, divided
2 Tbsp Sherry, divided
20 Leaves Red leaf, Boston, or Romaine lettuce
Procedure Steps
1. Prep all the ingredients, combine the garlic with the ginger in a small bowl. Then prep and combine all the vegetable ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the soy sauce and sherry together in another small bowl. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and have them reserved for service. Now you are set to begin the stir-fry.
2. Heat ½ of the sesame oil in a wok or large saute pan and then add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat, or until aromatic. Turn up the heat to high, and then add about ½ of the vegetable mixture and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, then add ½ of the soy sauce and sherry mixture, stirring well to coat for about a ½ minute. Transfer to a serving dish. Wipe out the wok or saute pan with a paper towel and return it to the heat. Now, add the remaining sesame oil to the wok or saute pan, and then stir-fry the remaining vegetables for about 3 minutes, then add the remaining soy sauce and sherry mixture and stir well for about a ½ minute. Then transfer the vegetables to the serving dish and mix well. Allow the stir-fried vegetables to cool slightly before serving.
3. Serve individual plates with dipping sauce.
*We used fresh clover sprouts as a substitution.

More Images

The marinated filler vegetables, rice paper sheets, and cool water bath
Fresh vegetable ingredients ready to stir-fry
Rice paper soaked in water for 1 minute and drained
Stir-frying in a saute pan
Spooning on the wasabi mustard to the center of the wet rice paper sheet
The stir-fried vegetables and fresh red leaf lettuce

This recipe was prepared on Eat To Live, Week 5, and linked from Eat To Live, Week 5 Recap of our ETL diet and lifestyle, you can follow our complete progress at Eat To Live. Eat to Live Week 5 link will be active soon.

Tags: Eat To Live · Entrees · Recipes · Vegetarian · Whole Foods Cuisine

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 pegasuslegend // May 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    these look great, amazing flavors and I love all of them in here these must be awesome~

  • 2 Emily Martin // May 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Wow, I can taste this already. What a fabulous dish for Spring, I love the use of mung bean sprouts instead of regular bean sprouts.
    I think I might have to make these for my guys this week.
    Thanks for another gorgeous dish Dennis!

  • 3 Belinda @zomppa // May 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Ooo – looks perfectly crisp!

  • 4 Beth // May 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Looks awesome and so refreshing!

  • 5 citronetvanille // May 4, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Oh this is my kind of dish, light, fragrant, fresh, ummm perfect for those warm summer days

  • 6 redkathy // May 5, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Oh wow I love stir fry, this sounds sooo delicious. Like the peanut dipping sauce idea, yum.

  • 7 penny aka jeroxie // May 5, 2010 at 2:21 am

    OMG… I use this all the time… love the edible spoons.

  • 8 Jessie // May 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

    ohhh lettuce wraps are my favorite, they are the perfect spring/summer food. I’m loving the peanut dipping sauce as well

  • 9 Drick // May 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

    great sounding wrap – with the hotter days coming around, this sounds ideal

  • 10 Conor @ HoldtheBeef // May 5, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Beautiful meal, and I love lettuce wraps! You can have a million wraps and not have to worry about the carby cals 🙂

  • 11 Rochelle (Acquired Taste) // May 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

    These look great! Nice, fresh and tasty with that sesame oil, ginger and garlic!

  • 12 Emily Martin // May 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I made lettuce wraps tonight because of these.

  • 13 Roti n Rice // May 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Love lettuce wraps and these look amazing!

  • 14 Kristi Rimkus // May 10, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I love lettuce wraps. So fresh and delicious!

  • 15 Emily @Cleanliness // May 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Absolutely divine.

  • 16 Martica // May 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I love making lettuce wraps…love the pics.

  • 17 Epicurean Vegan // Jun 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Oh yum. One of my favorite dishes–I will have to try these!

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