Supper Club: Lettuce Cup Appetizers

For my dish, I wanted to make something with an edible "bowl", so I chose this recipe from Jaden Hair's new cookbook. This was a great recipe - different from a lot of lettuce wraps I've tried before. There's a ton of flavor in the filling (I opted for ground turkey), and the mandarin oranges on top are just awesome! This was my first time working with oyster sauce, and it really added a lot of flavor. I have yet to be let down by one of her dishes, and I highly recommend this cookbook!

Lettuce Cup Appetizers
The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner - Jaden Hair

Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or snack

3/4 lb (350 g) ground chicken, turkey, beef or pork
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons high-heat cooking oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/3 cup (150 g) chopped red onion
4 to 6 fresh shitake mushrooms, diced
4 peeled water chestnuts (fresh or canned), diced
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
16 cup-shaped lettuce leaves (Boston Bibb, Butter head, iceberg or any lettuce with cup shaped leaves)
One 11-oz (312-g) can mandarin orange sections, drained

1. In a bowl, marinate the ground poultry or meat with the soy sauce, wine and cornstarch for 10 minutes at room temperature.

2. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat and when hot, add the oil. Swirl to coat and add the garlic, ginger and red onion. Fry for 15 to 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the ground meat. Cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the fresh shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, rice vinegar and oyster sauce. Simmer for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until the meat is cooked through.

3. You can assemble the lettuce cups by spooning a heaping tablespoonful of filling into each lettuce cup and topping with the mandarin orange slices or you can serve the ingredients separately for your dinner guests to assemble themselves.

MacGourmet Rating: 4 Stars

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