This is such an easy to make, healthy dish with lots of fresh Asian flavours. Children also love putting it together so let them choose a lettuce cup, fill and roll it themselves. I’ve even had children over who generally refuse to eat salad, happily eat this, lettuce and all!
Try it for lunch or dinner, it’s a firm favourite in our household.
Well, the mince or quinoa is a great source of protein. The garlic, ginger and shitake are great for immune support. The lettuce and vegetables add valuable nutrients and fibre.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit your specific dietary requirements.
These delicious Asian Lettuce Cups are a fast, healthy meal that the whole family will love.
- 1 iceberg or butter leaf lettuce, washed and leaves separated
- 500 grams turkey or chicken mince
- 1 red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sweet chilli
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- ¼ cup cashew nuts, toasted
- 1 lime, juiced
- I often add all of these but feel free to adjust to suit your taste:
- 1-2 cm ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cup mushrooms, shitake (best), button or Swiss brown, sliced
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and diced or julienned
- 1 red capsicum, julienned
- 1 red chilli, seeded and diced
- Handful Thai basil, leaves picked (or finely chopped for fussy kids)
- Handful Vietnamese or regular mint, leaves picked (or finely chopped for fussy kids)
- Handful of coriander leaves, leaves picked (or finely chopped for fussy kids)
- 1 kaffir lime leave, finely chopped
- In a wok or large pan, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Add the mince, onion, garlic and ginger. Increase the heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mince is cooked (about 5 minutes).
- Add the mushrooms, carrot, capsicum and chilli. Continue to stir for a few more minutes, add the fish sauce, sweet chilli and tamari.
- Stir through to coat the mince well, then turn off the heat.
- Stir in the cashews, lime juice and fresh herbs.
- Place the wok or pan on the table to self-serve.
- Break the leaves away from an iceberg or butter leaf lettuce and arrange on a plate.
- To serve simply place the mince into the lettuce cup, fold it in and enjoy.
Substitute the mince with quinoa and the fish sauce with a teaspoon of sea salt.
Swap the cashews for toasted sesame or sunflower seeds.
Swap the fish sauce for a good pinch of sea salt.
Swap the tamari for liquid or coconut amino.
Onion and garlic-free
Swap them for a 3-4cm pieces of ginger, finely grated.
For kids (or adults) who just won’t eat lettuce
Serve the mince mix on rice or quinoa.
Make it go further
I often have a little left over mince from this meal. So I use it to make another meal the next day. These are ways I stretch it:
- Mix through some shredded cabbage or lettuce, add more lime juice and use it as a filling for fresh spring rolls (my kids favourite lunch).
- Stir through cooked quinoa and make more lettuce cups.
- Mix it through salad leaves, more fresh herbs, cabbage and the juice of a lime to make an Asian inspired salad.
Time saving tip
I always prepare all of my ingredients in advance and just throw this together at the last minute as the cooking time is very minimal. I also have a julienne peeler (from a kitchen appliance shop), which I love as it juliennes perfectly and quickly.
If you are after a safe, non-stick wok to cook this in, I can't recommend highly enough this wok from Solidteknics. It is my most used pan and cooks this beautifully.
Love this? Why not post a comment below or rate this recipe.