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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Asian Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin Peanut Sauce

I love Cooking Light.  Out of all the food and cooking magazines I've subscribed to over the years (there have been a lot), it's my favorite.  Every month I bookmark at least half of the recipes.  Aside from offering healthy meals, as the name suggests, their recipes have a lot of variety, use ingredients that I have on hand or are easily obtained, and have simple, straightforward directions. 

I made these on a hot night, and they were a nice, light meal.  My brother-in-law Matt, my newest full-time taste tester, declared them to be innovative and fun.  You can't ask for much more than that. 


Asian Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin Peanut Sauce
based on recipe from Cooking Light

Serves 4

Ingredients:
Sauce:
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons creamy almond butter (or peanut or sunflower, any nut butter will do)
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
juice from 1 lime (about 1 Tablespoon)

Filling:
1 package tempeh, crumbled (tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, it has a ground meat texture when crumbled.  Find it in the refrigerated produce section near tofu)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
6 thinly sliced green onions
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot chile sauce
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 cup matchstick cut cucumbers
1 cup matchstick cut carrots
1 cup uncooked brown rice, steamed
Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
chopped fresh cilantro


Directions:
Sauce:
In a small saucepan, heat the canola oil over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
Whisk in water, almond butter, hoisin and crushed red pepper. 
Simmer for 1 minute. 
Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
When ready to serve, adjust thickness by whisking in more water, as necessary.

Filling:
In a large saute pan over medium, heat sesame oil.
Add half of the sliced green onions (reserve other hlaf along with cucumbers and carrots to add for serving).
Add tempeh and cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in soy sauce, ginger, sugar, hoisin and Sriracha.  I eyeballed these amounts, so just add as much as you want to taste.
Turn off heat, mix in reserved cucumbers, carrots and green onions.
Serve in lettuce leaves topped with cilantro and along with sauce for dipping. 

This was my first time cooking with tempeh.  It absorbs the flavors of whatever you cook it with, so it's good in a recipe like this, and I liked the texture.  You could also use ground pork, chicken, turkey or tofu in it's place.




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