This week I decided to combine two things that I really enjoy into one, while trying to make it slightly healthier. Me and my wife both enjoy pad Thai but we don’t always enjoy the calories that come from the noodles in it. I’ve also always enjoyed those little Asian lettuce wraps that you can get as an appetizer at some restaurants, so it only made sense to me to try to find a way to get the same great taste of Pad Thai, but have the healthier option of the lettuce wrap.
With that in mind, my brain kicked into gear and I assembled everything in my head so that I would have a clear picture of how I wanted it to turn out in the end. I do that with a lot of my recipes and most of the time they tend to turn out pretty well. However there have been a few that will never grace these pages. LOL.
Let’s go ahead and get started with this tasty healthier dinner that I created.
What you need before getting started: Sharp knife and cutting board, frying pan (if you don’t have a cast iron pan, then non stick is always good), medium mixing bowl. small whisk, spatula and non stick cooking spray.
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
1/2 cup diced onion (yellow onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch cilantro (about a 1/4 cup chopped)
chives (about a tablespoon chopped)
dry roasted unsalted peanuts (2 tablespoons after being chopped)
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon white sugar
Let’s go ahead and make the sauce first.
In your mixing bowl add the soy sauce, peanut butter, sriracha, juice from one lime, sugar and 1/4 cup of water and whisk it all together until blended nicely.
Next, dice the onion and set aside. Go ahead and chop up the cilantro and chives and mix those together. Now cut the lime into about 8 wedges and set aside.
Now to make the beef. (You can also use chicken or tofu crumbles if you would like).
Heat the pan over medium high heat and then spray with cooking spray. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes until they start to change colors. Now stir in the garlic and then add the ground beef. You will want to brown the ground beef making sure to get a few little crispy edges on it. While the beef cooks add the salt and both peppers and stir. Once the beef is browned reduce heat to low and stir in about half of the sauce. Make sure to get it mixed together nicely.
Prepare the lettuce.
While the beef is cooking you can get the lettuce ready. Remove the first layer of outer leaves and throw them out. Cut the head in half with the stem side on one side (don’t cut down the middle of the stem). You can actually cut just above the halfway point if you like. Now take the half without the stem and cut that in half. You should now have two nice little stacks of oval-shaped lettuce wraps. separate them out into however many you need. For this meal I used six of the largest ones. That made three wraps each for us.
Now that, that is all done you will want to plate your food. Lay out two or three wraps on each plate and fill them with the beef. Add a little of the cilantro mixture to the top and then add some of the peanuts. While this looks like a garnish it is actually adding to the flavor. Trust me. Now add a big spoonful of the remaining sauce to each wrap. Put a couple of lime wedges on each plate so that you can squeeze a little onto each wrap before you eat them. The fresh lime really gets the flavor going.
That’s how you make a Spicy Pad Thai Lettuce wrap. It really is tasty for a relatively healthy meal. I hope that you guys enjoy this one as much as I did. I am sure that I will be adding this recipe to my regular rotation.
Thanks for Reading,