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Ground Turkey and Mint Lettuce Wraps

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Recipe By Sara Moulton From Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Simon and Schuster, 2010

Any number of Asian cultures work out variations on this theme: ground and seasoned meat wrapped in lettuce. As you might imagine, the lettuce makes for a lighter and more refreshing wrap than one made with starchy products. This recipe features ground turkey, but you can substitute pork or beef.


Makes 12 wraps, 4 servings
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 20 minutes



  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound turkey, lean beef or lean pork (see instructions below for grinding)
  • ½ cup Peanut Sesame Sauce (click to see this recipe and preparation time) or store-bought sauce
  • One 4- to 5-inch piece seedless (English) cucumber
  • ½ cup fresh mint or cilantro leaves
  • 12 large butter lettuce leaves
  • Soy sauce, as an accompaniment


How to grind the meat: Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Put the cubes in a plastic bag and freeze for 30 minutes. Working in batches, pulse the cubes in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, until they reach the desired ground meat consistency.

    1. Finely chop the onion (about 1 cup). Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it has softened. Add the turkey to the skillet and sauté it, stirring with a fork to break it into pieces, for about 7 minutes, or until it is cooked through.
    2. Meanwhile, make the Peanut Sesame Sauce. Add ½ cup of the sauce to the turkey mixture. (Refrigerate the remaining Peanut Sesame Sauce for another use.) Heat the turkey mixture just until the sauce bubbles.
    3. Meanwhile, finely chop the cucumber (about 1 cup) and half the mint leaves (about ¼ cup); stir them into the hot turkey filling. Divide the filling and the remaining mint leaves among the lettuce leaves. Fold the sides of the leaves over the filling and roll up the leaves to enclose the filling. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.
Photo by Flicker user The_Smiths / CC BY-NC 2.0

Reminder: The ingredients in a recipe determine if it should be eaten every day, some days, or on special occasions. It's up to you and you doctor to determine what can be part of a healthy diet for you and any special needs you may have.

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Photo by Flicker user mollycakes / CC BY-NC 2.0

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