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Easy Delicious Chinese Food

Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps

What’s the BEST way to make an Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap?  Don’t.  Make an Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wrap.   It’s way more juicy and flavorful than chicken ever was.   If you’re looking for a fun, great tasting, EASY meal for this week, Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps are for you.  Your family will love them and you will too since they take less than 30 minutes to bring to the table.

We really like P.F. Chang’s Asian Lettuce Wraps.  Just going to P.F. Chang’s is fun.  For us that means a trip to the Plaza.  I rarely buy anything at the Plaza (except at The Better Cheddar where I can’t pass up the duck pate or cheese and crackers…)  but P.F. Chang’s is a treat and the Lettuce Wraps are a favorite.  It’s also a great dish to cook at home when you want to WOW their socks off but you don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.

For some reason, I always assumed the Lettuce Wrap filling was difficult to make.  And you know what?  It’s not.  In fact, you don’t even need a wok to make these wonderful Lettuce Wraps.  Try ’em this week for yourself.

Here’s all it takes:

1. Brown some ground pork with some sliced mushrooms and onions.

2. Punch it up with aromatics like ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar and garlic.  Then add in water chestnuts and shredded cabbage for some crunch and texture and you’re done!

Great Chinese Recipe for a Crowd

Believe it or not, this is a fantastic Chinese Recipe for a large group.  Use Leaf Lettuce instead of the more tender Butter Lettuce, it’s sturdier and easy to pull apart.  In fact, all it takes is only a well-placed slice about 1 inch from the root end to break the head into about 15 leaf servings.  The pork can then be cooked in large quantity in the oven while the aromatics are cooking on the stovetop and that’s it!  That’s all it takes to put a dish on the table that will be bringing them back in droves for seconds.

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Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

These Asian Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps are a true 20-minute meal, they can easily be made ahead and will keep for several days in the refrigerator.  They freeze beautifully and can be easily reheated on your stovetop.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tesaspoon Sriracha
Lettuce Wraps
  • 1 head butter (bibb) lettuce (12 - 15 leaves each) - or leaf lettuce
  • 1 pound ground pork - can substitute chicken if desired
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound button mushrooms - sliced
  • ½ large yellow onion - chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts - chopped and drained
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
Instructions
Make the Dipping Sauce
  1.  In a small bowl, combine the dipping sauce ingredients and whisk until fully mixed.  Set aside or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Make the Lettuce Wraps
  1. Cut off root end of lettuce within 1 inch of the end. Gently separate lettuce leaves. Set aside.
  2. To a large skillet, add ground pork and cook over medium high heat until browned and cooked through, stirring often. Remove the pork from the pan to a plate, and set aside. 

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in the same skillet, reducing heat to medium-high heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms.  Sauté until onions are tender and translucent and the mushrooms are golden brown, stirring frequently.  

  4. To the mushroom onion mixture add the garlic, stirring about 30 seconds until fragrant.   Add the cooked pork, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, drained water chestnuts, and shredded cabbage, to the pan, stir, and cook until the cabbage just begins to wilt, about 3-4 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The chicken mixture can be made to this point and refrigerated, covered for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. To re-heat, warm on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
  1. To serve, pile the lettuce leaves on a plate and transfer the hot chicken mixture to a serving dish, or serve straight from the skillet. Or place a generous spoonful of chicken mixture in the middle of a lettuce leaf, and eat right away. Can serve with green onions and white sesame seed sprinkled over.

Recipe Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: Can be kept warm on LOW for 2 hours until ready to serve. If mixture becomes too dry, rehydrate with a splash of chicken broth or water.

Large Group

 

Asian Lettuce Wraps for a Crowd of 50
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Don't be intimidated. These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps are not only a HUGE CROWD PLEASER, they are easy to make, can be made ahead and will keep for several days in the refrigerator. The filling freezes beautifully and can be easily reheated on your stovetop or in the oven.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 50 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
Dipping Sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
Lettuce Wraps
  • 5 heads leaf lettuce (12 - 15 leaves each)
  • 5 pounds ground pork - can substitute ground chicken breast if desired
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 5 pounds button mushrooms - sliced
  • 2 1/2 large yellow onions - finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic - minced, about 4 tablespoons - use the stuff in a jar
  • 1 cup soy sauce or to taste
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 5 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts - drained and finely chopped
  • 7 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 4 bunches green onions chopped
Special Equipment
  • 1 20-3/4" x 12-3/4" x 4" disposable aluminum pan (this is a full-size) steam table pan
Instructions
Make the Dipping Sauce
  1. In a large bowl, combine the dipping sauce ingredients and whisk until fully mixed. Set aside or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Make the Lettuce Wraps
  1. Within 4 hours of serving, cut off root end of lettuce within 1 inch of the end. Gently separate lettuce leaves. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.   Place ground pork in the disposable aluminum pan,  breaking it up and spreading evenly.  Bake until browned and cooked through, stirring several times to break it up, about 50 - 60 minutes. When done, remove the pork from the oven, break up into small 1/2 size pieces  and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, in 1 - 2 large skillets over medium heat, add the sesame oil, onions and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are tender and golden brown and the onions are translucent and soft, stirring frequently.

  4. To the mushroom and onion mixture, add the garlic, reduce heat to medium and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, water chestnuts and shredded cabbage to the pan, stir, and let simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. Add the mushroom and onion mixture to the disposable pan containing the pork. Mix well to thoroughly combine.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The pork mixture can be made to this point and refrigerated, covered for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. To re-heat, warm in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until hot. Taste and add a bit of water or chicken broth if too dry.
  1. To serve, pile the lettuce leaves on a plate. Serve the hot pork mixture from the pans, sprinkling with white sesame seeds and 1 bunch green onions cut on the diagonal. Serve the dipping sauce in several bowls with spoons to allow people to spoon over the chicken mixture.

Recipe Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: Can be kept warm on LOW for 2 hours until ready to serve. If mixture becomes too dry, rehydrate with a splash of chicken broth or water.

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