It’s the first week of January, which means weight loss resolutions for many of us. And, of course, carbs are usually the first to go when we diet. That doesn’t mean flavor and nourishment should go. These Asian Lettuce wraps are a delicious way to rethink old eating habits. Impossible Meat, veggies and herbs, and Japanese black rice, a whole grain, make a fun, interactive and satisfying meal. You won’t feel like you’re dieting, as it should be. And you don’t have to be dieting to enjoy this meal!
I like to plate everything separately and then let my family choose the fillings they want. Butter lettuce is a great option for the wraps, as it is soft and pliable. Make sure to carefully peel the leaves off of the head and wash gently so as not to break them. You may need 2 heads, depending on how many guests you are serving, as the larger outer leaves work best.
Please note that you can have fun with this meal by choosing whatever vegetables and herbs you like. Just make sure to cut everything up small enough to fit inside the lettuce leaf and then be rolled up.
I suggest having the lettuce, vegetables and herbs washed, cut and plated before cooking the Impossible Meat. The cooking time for black rice is similar to brown rice, so take that into consideration, if using.
I used one package of Impossible Meat that I added after sweating the onions and shallot. Impossible Meat isn’t fatty like ground meat, so no need to cook first and then drain. This recipe is easily doubled to serve more people.
I cooked 1½ cups of dried rice (makes about 3 cups), which fed 4 people for dinner with leftover rice. I didn’t add salt to the rice as the sauce has plenty of sodium. You’ll have to decide on that.
Adding a squeeze of lime before rolling up the lettuce wrap brought the flavors together.
Asian Style Lettuce Wraps:
Neutral oil such as grapeseed
¾ cup finely diced onion
½ shallot bulb, finely diced
1 12 oz. package Impossible Meat
3 cloves garlic finely minced
Asian style sauce (recipe follows)
Outer leaves of butter or similar lettuce, washed and left intact
1 carrot, cut in small matchsticks
2 cups bean sprouts
½ cup cilantro leaves
Toasted sesame seeds
1 lime, cut in wedges
3 cups cooked Japanese black rice or other rice, optional if not eating any carbs
Heat 1 T of oil in a medium large nonstick pan. Lower the heat and add the onion and shallot, and sweat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add another T of oil and then add the Impossible Meat, crumbling it up with your hands. Increase the heat and cook, stirring up often, until almost completely brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and Impossible Meat is browning on the edges. Add several T of the Asian Sauce and stir up until heated through. Add more to taste. Reserve any extra sauce to serve on the side with the wraps. Plate your ingredients as pictured. Top the meat and rice (if using) with toasted sesame seeds.
Asian Style Sauce:
3 T soy sauce
1 T water
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T coconut sugar
2 inch knob of ginger, grated
½ tsp Gochujang (or to taste)
1 T sesame oil (or to taste)
1 T sesame seeds
Dissolve the coconut sugar in the first 3 ingredients. Add the ginger and Gochujang and incorporate completely. Whisk in the sesame oil and sesame seeds and taste for heat preference (Gochujang has a kick). I like a strong sesame taste. Add sesame oil to your preference.