I mentioned last week that I was eating healthy this month. I have been wanting to make Thai lettuce wraps for awhile, so I thought now would be the perfect time. The one drawback? Living at home the past few months, I cook my more exotic cravings at friends houses, and save safer foods for my family. I set out to make these lettuce wraps versatile enough that everyone would like them regardless of their picky levels. Spoiler alert... It didn't work.
Making a quick paste to cook the meats and veggies in.
Garlic, shallots, scallions, ginger, cumin, coriander, chiles, fish sauce, and veg oil.
When you cook, it's important to sit back and admire the ingredients once in awhile. I got the opportunity to do this more often in Bermuda where life moves slower.
OK... Enough reminiscencing(not a word). My mom got this cool peeler that makes fun strips of food. I've been having way too much fun with it.
As I said earlier, I was trying to cater to all of the tastes in the house. This included people who are a bit veggie shy. For this reason, instead of cooking the chicken with the veg, I separated it so you could put as much of each as you wanted in your wrap.
I also chopped up some shrimp and cooked them in the paste. Lots of options!
Some basil into the veg when it was done cooking and off the heat.
All these pans started with frying the paste.
I really LOVED these wraps. I liked how you could eat a bunch and make them slightly different each time. Like tacos! They were tasty, healthy, and really satisfied me that night.
Unfortunately, others turned to bread to eat the chicken with. Is that even BBQ sauce I see? Yikes.
I dreamt about the bun travesty all night, so in the morning I had to make one myself. Unlike their chicken and bread sandwiches, I made mine with all the acutriments of the wraps from the night before.
It turned out to be the best sandwich I have had in awhile! Like a crazy cross between a pulled pork (cause of the shredded chicken and carrot/cabbage slaw) and a banh mi (cause of the cilantro, cucumbers, and sambal).
For the paste, I used about 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and dried Thai chiles(seeds removed)
That goes in the blender with 2 thumbs of ginger, 8 cloves of garlic, 4 shallots, and a bunch of green onion.
Pulse a few times and add a teaspoon or so of fish sauce and oil. Blend to a smooth paste.
Shred equal parts of cabbage and carrots, and add some bean sprouts to this mix.
Cook some chicken and shred it up. Cut raw shrimp(if using) into bite sized pieces.
I did all the cooking in different pans, but if I was just making this for me, I would cook the paste, then the veg for 5 minutes, then add the cooked shredded chicken and let it all warm up. Remove from heat and add basil. Either way, the paste goes first for a minute, then add the shrimp or veg and cook to desired doneness, basil at the end.
Serve this taco style with some lettuce cups. I used butter or boston lettuce. For toppings, some sambal, peanuts, cucumber, and cilantro work well.