Thursday, 15 May 2014

Hoisin Pork Lettuce Wraps

Every since we moved to Calgary I've been inspired by all the ethnic restaurants to break away from my more traditionally Canadian cooking and experiment with other flavours. Lately I've been very influenced by Asian flavours, which led me to attempting these lettuce wraps. And am I ever glad I did! These wraps make a delicious, light dinner that’s just bursting with flavour!

 {A delicious, pork-hoisin combination wrapped in crispy fresh lettuce and so fun! I mean, who doesn't love eating with their hands!}


 {Get those veggies nice and tender}

 {Stir in the cooked pork, the hoisin sauce and the remaining spices}
 {You should be getting really hungry now! Stir all that sauce in and let it simmer away..}

I've had lettuce wraps at a Thai restaurant before, but these were so much better! The light, sweet Hoisin flavour against the crispy pork and tender veggies make these the perfect summer meal, especially when accompanied by delicious, mouth-watering coconut rice! (I love coconut anything, but coconut rice might be one of my favourite treats! I could eat the whole pot for dinner, no joke!) And they are, I'm sure, much healthier than the take out version! Who knows what goes into those?!

 {Ta-Da!!! Now that is a dinner you can be proud to serve to anyone and everyone! Plus it was super easy to make, everyone's a winner!}

Hoisin Pork Lettuce Wraps
A light, refreshing meal that will leave you feeling guilt-free after you stuff your stomach full of these! Don’t expect any leftovers with these bold flavours!

Time:
Prep Time: 10 minutes // Cook Time: 25 – 30 minutes // Yields: 2-4 servings (4 if you serve with a side of Coconut Rice)

For the Hoisin Sauce
Ingredients:
  • 4 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tsp Srirachi sauce*, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Pepper

Directions:
  • In a medium, microwave safe bowl soften peanut butter in microwave for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • Whisk all ingredients together; set aside.

* Srirachi sauce is a spicy chili sauce that can be found in the Ethnic section of most grocery stores, it packs quite a bit of heat so if you don’t like spicy I would recommend starting with 1 tsp.

For the Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients:
  • 2 - 3 lbs ground pork
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil, separated
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 head iceberg or butter lettuce, washed and leaves separated

Directions:
  • In a large pan, heat 1 tsp sesame oil over medium heat; add pork and cook, breaking up the pork, until it is fully cooked, about 5 – 7 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.
  • Drain pan, then add remaining 1 tsp sesame oil and heat, then add onion, pepper, jalapeño and garlic until softened, 1-2 minutes; add pork, Hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the pan and stir to combine; reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 5 - 10 minutes or until the sauce is mostly reduced into the meat mixture.
  • Top with toasted sesame seeds, crispy wonton strips and green onions, if desired, and serve on a bed of lettuce, with more lettuce on the side as your wraps.

To make this a complete meal, I serve it with coconut rice!


*this is a base recipe, but you could substitute any protein with the pork; tofu or ground turkey would be great with these flavours.

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