Posts Tagged ‘Asian’

Lettuce Wraps

January 3, 2011

Well I guess the holidays are over and it’s back to the grind tomorrow morning. Did Christmas really happen? Is someone playing a joke on me? Seriously?

In all honestly, I really needed the break. From catching up on glorious sleep to spending time with family and friends, I’m feeling pretty good.

One of the highlights of my Christmas break was having the chance to catch up with two of my favourite people, Maija and Anna. For dinner I decided to make my version of Asian Lettuce Wraps, inspired by a meal that I had ordered from a restaurant a few days earlier. While the restaurant version was really great, I definitely thought that it was something I could easily replicate at home. With a simple marinade and some fresh veggies, the meal came together really nicely.  It was so good and so easy, that I made it again for dinner tonight.  

Marinade

  • 4 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chinese black been and garlic sauce (found in the Asian section at the grocery store)
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce (found in the Asian section)
  • 3 tbsp Hoisin sauce (found in the Asian section)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 chili or 1 jalapeño, chopped (discard the seeds if you don’t like the spice)
  •  Juice of 1 lime

Protein

  • Thinly sliced chicken or beef (shrimp also works well, but needs less marinating time)

Toppings (use whatever you like)

  • Lettuce leaves
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Carrots, julienned
  • Cucumber, julienned
  • Cilantro
  • Rice
  • Chili or peanut dipping sauce (store bought)

Stir the marinade and add your sliced protein. Mix to coat. Let the meat marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

When ready to cook, simply heat some oil in a frying pan (or wok) and place the meat (with the marinade) in the pan. Cook through and serve with your favourite toppings. Roll this all up in a lettuce leaf and you are good to go!

***I added sliced peppers to the mix and cooked up some rice so that I can have a killer stir-fry lunch tomorrow at work.

 Countdown to my next vacation is on! And GO CANADA GO!

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Baked (Not Fried)

May 20, 2010

Thank you Mother Nature! Warm sunshine and blue skies are finally upon us. I live for the summer and can never get enough heat, dresses, sunglasses, ceasars and patios. What else could a girl want?

Summer weather also means bikinis, tank tops, shorts and lighter meals. Taste, however, does not need to be sacrificed! By choosing to bake things instead of frying, you can really control the amount of fat that you put into your meals.

I’m a huge fan of Asian food and more specifically, dumplings. I personally believe that the wonton wrapper is one of the greatest inventions in the world. The super basic mix of flour and water has infinite possibilities and I find that pretty amazing. Believe it or not, my grandma was the first to introduce me to these delicious wrappers by making a Latvian-Asian fusion dumpling stuffed with ground meet and onions, toped with mustard and vinegar (sounds weird I know, but a true comfort food for me). Now, I think I go through at least two of the double packages of wontons every month.

One of my all-time favourite snacks is a baked wonton wrapper. Simply brush a baking sheet with a bit of oil, lay the wontons on the baking sheet in a single layer, brush a little more oil on top of them and sprinkle with salt (I like sea salt for this). Bake in a 425 degree oven until golden and crispy and dip them in your favourite sauce. It really does not get any easier than that.

The recipe below uses the same concept, but adds a few extra steps. These mini eggrolls are stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and veggies and makes the perfect appetizer or side dish.

Filling:

  • 1 small package ground beef (or chicken, turkey, pork, whatever!)
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp soya Sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp hot chili sauce (optional)
  • 1 double package wonton wrappers

Start by chopping all your ingredients so that you have everything prepped and ready to go. Brown the meat in a frying pan and drain off any excess fat. Add all the chopped veggies (be sure NOT to add the bean sprouts) and sauté on medium high until they soften. Add all the sauces and sauté for another couple of minutes until the liquid reduces and thickens a bit. Stir in the bean sprouts right at the last minute and turn off the heat.

Now it’s assembly time!

I like to work on a cutting board and be sure to keep a cup of water beside you to seal all the wonton edges after you stuff them with the mixture.

Place a tbsp of the mixture on a wonton, dap the edges with water and fold them in. For different folding techniques, just search eggrolls in YouTube. It’s really easy and you can just use whatever method works for you (even create your own!).

Similar to the wonton chips, just brush a baking sheet with a bit of oil, place the finished eggrolls in a single layer and bake in a 425 degree oven until golden brown. A definitely crowd pleaser!