One of the most popular items on most Asian restaurant menus are Lettuce Wraps. They bring out your choice of chicken or beef combined with hoisin sauce and vegetables, and bright, crisp leaves of lettuce for you to make your own Asian “taco”, if you don’t mind the pun. It never ceases to amaze me how different cultures adapt their native foods right into that of another culture and make it work!
Here I am presenting one recipe allowing you to make it 2 ways – one as a Lettuce Wrap so everyone can help themselves – and the other using a tortilla to make the wrap (either in the form of a taco or a burrito – see what I mean about mixing cultures?).
Or, you can put out lettuce and tortillas, and let everyone have some of each. That’s the beauty of this kind of meal; make it with both chicken and beef or, use left-overs instead of raw protein to make left-overs seem less like what they are!
Asian Beef or Chicken Mushroom Wraps
- 3 Tbsp. salad oil (I use peanut but you can use corn, olive, etc.), divided
- 1 lb. round or flank steak or boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or 1/2 lb. of each), cut in thin strips, against the grain
- 16 oz. mushrooms, sliced (brown or white, or a mixture)
- 16 oz. pkg. frozen stir-fry vegetables (about 1-1/2 c)
- 2/3 c hoisin sauce, divided
- 6 8” flour tortillas
- 6-8 full-sized bowl-shaped lettuce leaves
In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add half the meat (or chicken) and stir fry until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove to a plate, cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining meat (or chicken) removing when brown to same plate and covering.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to same pan and add mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms until tender and just barely starting to brown at some of the edges, about 5 minutes. Add frozen vegetables and stir, cooking until they are barely tender, about 2-3 minutes. They should remain crisp. Stir in 1/3 c hoisin sauce, meat (and/or chicken) and any juices in the dish and stir so that meat is lightly coated with sauce.
For Lettuce Wraps:
Place rinsed and dried iceberg lettuce leaves on plate on the table. Pour meat and mushroom mixture into serving bowl and remaining 1/3 cup hoisin in a side bowl if someone wants more.
For Tortilla Wraps:
Spread each of the warmed tortillas with a little of the hoisin sauce; not a lot, just a little over most of it leaving a 1/2” edge all around. Spoon about 1/3 cup of meat mixture down the center of the tortilla, then from one long side, start to roll it up. Serve with extra hoisin on the side.