I often wonder why I don’t cook Asian Food. It’s probably because I can never imitate the flavors of Chinese cuisine at home so I end up throwing together something that’s very “white-washed” in the end. So here’s a quick lettuce wrap that is inevitably not very Asian. It’s a sweet barbecued meat with a bitter, crunchy slaw over a crispy lettuce leaf. I also added some extra fiber-y warmth with a scoop of brown rice. Typically, I would use Hoisin Sauce in the marinade but I didn’t have any. Whaat? No Hoisin at an Asian House? (I found it later in the back of the refrigerator…)
Anyways, I used something called “Char-Siu” (cha shao in mandarin) which is essentially a sauce made with a hoisin base but with other added ingredients such as 5-spice, soy sauce, and honey so if you find this, you can definitely use it in place of some ingredients I’m going to list. By the way, you can totally use a lean beef for this recipe. In fact, I bought pork on accident! I was going to make shredded pork but got lazy and just cut them in strips.
Hoisin-Marinated Pork Lettuce Wraps
For the Pork
1/4 c. Hoisin Sauce
(1 tsp honey)
1 tbsp mirin
1 – 1.5 tbsp(Lee Kum Kee) chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh gingerroot
6 oz. pork center rib roast or beef top sirloin, trimmed, sliced into strips
For the Slaw
(1tbsp water, white miso, rice vinegar, and honey)
1.5 c cole slaw (store bought or homemade: however you roll)
1 finely chopped scallion/green onion
(Crushed Sweet Sesame Pecans– you can find these at Asian Supermarkets, they are Walnuts topped with honey, sugar, and sesame and are crunchy and sweet. If you can’t find it, you can omit it.)
1 Head of Lettuce
2 whole-wheat tortillas (8-inch)
~2 servings, ~300 calories, 40g carbs, 25g protein 8g fat
Combine the hoisin, ginger, garlic, mirin, honey and chili garlic sauce in a bowl. You can exclude honey and hoisin if you have Char-Sui. I like the sweetness of the honey but most of the time, I think hoisin is sweet enough by itself so honey is optional. I’m also really partial to the chili-garlic sauce that Lee Kum Kee makes particularly because it’s very mild with a chili flavor and lots of garlic. It doesn’t have much heat but packs a lot of flavor so if you’re using this brand, go ahead and add more because it’s really not that spicy. (I’m a total baby about spicy things and this is like a godsend).
Add the meat and toss to coat. Let it marinate for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine water, miso, vinegar and honey in a bowl. Toss with the cole slaw mix and scallions.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and sear the beef strips until they’re seared on one side (2 minutes). Flip them, and grill until the beef is caramelized (2 – 3 minutes more).
Separate lettuce leaves. Top with a little brown Rice, slaw, crushed walnuts and a few strips of meat. Alternatively, you can go Mu Shu style and wrap it in warm tortillas. Traditionally, Mu-Shu is wrapped in paper-thin flour ‘tortillas’– they are not as heavy or thick as mexican-style tortillas. Usually its some sort of pork with different veggies and the hoisin is used as a sauce on the inside, separate from the filling.