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|
|20||Leaves||Red leaf, Boston, or Romaine lettuce|
|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.|
|Fresh vegetable ingredients ready to stir-fry|
|Stir-frying in a saute pan|
|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.