leave your inhibitions at the door
It’s been wayyyyyy too long since I’ve written a post here. The past couple of months have been absolutely crazy with… with… Eh, screw it. I have been pretty busy with family stuff and writing for Eater. But I’m not going to lie to you – I have been busy, but not that busy. Truth is, I’ve been pretty uninspired. At least with writing – I have notes for some pretty damn good posts but just haven’t been in the mood to fire up the laptop.
The same things happen when cooking daily meals, right? There are times when you really don’t feel inspired to cook, so you don’t. With meals that takes the form of going out and have someone else do it for you. With this blog it took the form of sitting around and watching it collect e-dust.
Recently, I was in the middle of both funks – blogging and cooking – when one of the kids asked me if I could make “those lettuce wraps” again. I just stared blankly at her for a few seconds wondering what she was talking about. Then the memories came flooding back to me. It had been a couple years since I’ve made them and that’s really a crying shame. It’s a simple recipe and they are a total crowd-pleaser. They have enough brightness and spice to get me out of the cooking funk and kicked me in the pants enough to post about it.
I usually make this with ground pork because…. well, pork. I suppose it can be done with ground chicken or turkey as well but, you know, pork. I had a package of baby bella mushrooms in the fridge and decided to try making a vegetarian version of it. That’s how inspiring these things are. But not inspiring enough for me to give a better name.
Spicy Lettuce Taco Wrap Things
– a head or two of butter lettuce
– 2 pounds ground pork
– 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
– 3 Tablespoons minced ginger
– 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce (or sriracha if you’re into it)
– 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
– 4 scallions, chopped
– package of rice noodles
– 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
– 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
– 1/3 cup lime juice
1 – Make the noodles and mix in the fish sauce, soy, lime juice, and some scallion greens
2 – Put the garlic, ginger, chili sauce, scallions, and hoisin in a bowl.
Mix in the pork really well with your hands or a spoon.
3 – In a large wok, heat up some oil and cook the meat in batches. If you cook it all in one pile you’ll end up steaming the meat and it won’t brown. Make sure to chop it up so there’s no big pieces.
4 – Either assemble the lettuce wraps/tacos or keep components separate and let individuals do themselves. Grab a lettuce leaf, add some noodles, and top with the meat.
Version 2.0 – Vegetarian-style
Those of you have read a few of my posts in the past know that I’m a proud meat eater who does not do vegetarian. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve made snide remarks towards Vegans here in this space. But I tried with the mushrooms and they turned out pretty damn good. Just not as good as the pork.
I have no idea how much mushrooms this is. Let’s just call it a shit ton.
Mix them like the pork.
Cook in batches
and assemble like the pork ones
*** I originally got this recipe from a site about 8-10 years ago and I messed with it a bunch to get to my version above. I can’t remember what the site was and am not sure if this person made these up or got them from a cookbook. If you know either of them, let me know and I’ll make sure they get credit.