Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crisp Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin

I love lettuce wraps! In Korea, where I grew up, I used to wrap bulgogi or kalbi in lettuce. (And I thought we were the only people in the world who did that. Turns out I was wrong!) So I always get really excited whenever I see recipes like this! Hoisin sauce is such a tasty sauce that makes any kind of ground meat extra more flavorful and is perfect for lettuce wraps. My other favorite thing about this dish was the filling for the wraps. It's got all kinds of goodies in there, such as shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, carrots, giner, garlic, slivered almonds, ground turkey, etc. Sounds pretty healthy, right? Well, it is! :)

Hoisin Lettuce Wraps
Adapted and changed from "The New Stir-Fry Cookbook"

Printable Recipe


4 dried shitake mushrooms or 1 4oz can of shitake mushrooms, chopped
oil for cooking
1/4 cup slivered almonds
4 oz water chestnuts, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finly chopped
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
2 teaspoons coriander
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce
salt and pepper as needed
12 lettuce leaves, washed and dried

1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


With dried shitake mushrooms, soak them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes, or until softened. Discard the tough stems and chop the mushrooms finely. Set aside. If using canned mushrooms, chop them and set aside.

To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the wok until very hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl it around to coat the side. Stir-fry the almonds, water chestnuts, carrot and spring onion for 1 minute, or until lightly cooked but not browned - they should still be crisp. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Reheat the wo and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir-fry the ground turkey, coriander, giner and mushrroms over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the turkey changes color, but do not overcook.

Add the sauce and stir to combine. Return the vegetable mixture to the wok and add the hoisin sauce, chili sauce, and salt and pepper and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through and the mixture is well combined. Spoon the turkey mixture into the lettuce leaves and fold into parcels.

Serve with rice if you'd like.



  1. i think i've got some dried shiitake mushrooms in the house right now!

  2. I loooove hoisin... it perks up the flavor of a lot of meat dishes that I cook. i'm trying to cut down on white rice and a lettuce wrap is always a good alternative to it!
    im glad to discover your blog as I would love to learn how to cook more Korean dishes...I'm excited to try this recipe...

  3. I've never had a lettuce wrap before...must try this recipe!

  4. Looks awesome! Heh, I actually just made lettuce wraps the other day. I'll be posting about them next week. Oh and hoisin is the bomb.

  5. Bob,
    I will look out for your lettuce wrap recipe! I love all kinds of lettuce wraps. :)

    I'm so glad that you're excited about the Korean recipes. Cutting down on white rice is still so hard for me! I eat the wraps with rice. :)

    Isn't shitake so great? It's got such a nice texture.

    Oh you should definitely try a lettuce wrap dish sometime. It's fabulous.

  6. I love, love lettuce wraps! This recipe looks excellent. I make a similar version with ground chicken. They're so good! Must make this for dinner next week. :)

  7. I love lettuce wraps too! The Korean wraps are delicious, and I always associate the Chinese ones with weddings because that's where I used to eat them as a kid.

  8. Mmm. I heart lettuce wraps. Anytime is a good time for them and healthy too! Thx for sharing this recipe.

  9. The diva on a diet,
    Ground chicken would be so good with this recipe. :)

    Daily Chef,
    I didn't know they served lettuce wraps in Chinese weddings. I'd go to as many wedding as I can if they served lettuce wraps there. :)

    I love lettuce wraps for the same reasons, yummy and healthy.

    Poulsen Family,
    Thanks for your comment. My mouth waters every time I think about this meal, too. :)

  10. You have such beautiful and delicious recipes that are right up my alley. I love meals such as this and definitely want to give your version a try. Yum!

  11. you just became my favoritest person ever..because Korean food is my favorite food of all friggin time!!!
    im gonna be all over your recipes!

    hoping you have a good kalbi marinade!!!

  12. What a fabulous lettuce wrap! I love all the ingredients here and especially the addition of hoisin, yum!

  13. So crispy, so yummy, so clever to use hoisin sauce!!

  14. Lettuce wraps are great and water chestnuts in the minced meat always make it so crunchy.

  15. That just looks amazing! so fresh packed with lots of flavor!!!

  16. Getting to learn a lot of new recipes here... this one looks great.. thanks for sharing....

  17. Oh what an absolutely delicious filling. I love the thought of a crisp lettuce wrap!

  18. What a delicious lettuce wrap! your beautiful pics make me feel hungry now. =)

  19. Bridget,
    I would definitely recommend this delicious wrap. :)

    Mo Diva,
    I'm always happy to meet someone who shares the love for Korean food!

    5 Star Foodie,
    Hoisin is always great for lettuce wraps, I think. :)

    Isn't hoisin sauce so great?

    I also loved water chestnuts in the mixture. Every bite was crunchy and yummy.

    That is a good description of this wraps. "Packed" with delicious ingredients.

    I love getting new recipes on your blog too! :)

    The water chestnuts and the veggies make this wrap crunchy and yum. I love it, too. :)

    Thanks QIS!

  20. wow that looks so good,beautiful and healthy wraps...

  21. Awesome clicks..Looks so tempting dea..!!!!

  22. to make and eat. Looks delicious here...mmmm

  23. These look and sound delicious! Hope to try them soon!!!

  24. Lettuce wraps are the best! Not only are they fun to eat but they are super delicious as well. I love the marinade you put on these.

  25. Love the name of your blog. Haven't made lettuce wrap in a long time. Now I now what I will be serving when my son comes for supper on Sunday. Now I have to come up with a starter; thanks.

  26. LOL! I just noticed your little signature "Sook the Cook"! It's perfect!

    I love eating lettuce wraps but I've never bothered making them myself. I'm slightly trying to eat healthy so this would be a great meal! Thanks for the lovely idea :)

  27. What a delicious wraps,lots of flavors and pretty healthy too.

  28. nice delicious wrap ... with lots of flavours

  29. Thank you dear for dropping by my blog and leaving lovely comments. the link for samosas is here . ur lettuce wraps are looking delicious.

  30. Great recipe! I love all the different textures in this -- especially the almonds and water chesnuts for a little crunch!

  31. I love lettuce wraps! They are so healthy too. They look great.

  32. My mother in law just bought a cookbook that had a very similar recipe and they called them Korean Beef and Lettuce wraps or something similar. They called it Korean even though it had hoisin sauce in it.

    They were yummy thought. It goes to show you that these days, you put the word "Korean" in front of something and people will try it.

  33. I haven't had bulgogi for ages! I love lettuce wraps too - I do the Chinese style like this with minced pigeon breast, but I also love the Vietnamese ones made with turkey meatballs and loads of herbs and noodles in the wrap.

  34. oh yum, this looks so good. I've made lettuce wraps once before, and they were so good. I definitely want to try these. Especially with hoisin sauce - that stuff is great :)

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  36. Lettuce wraps are a favorite of mine--these look full of great ingredients and flavors.

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  38. I love eating in this way too especially when the filling is still warm, but not my kids!