Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stir-Fried Turkey in Lettuce Wraps

In my quest for new healthy and tasty foods to prepare for my family, I am turning less to my beloved recipe box and my cherished community cookbook collection and instead I am looking more toward  glossy hardcover books that I tentatively check out from the library, professional blogs, and modern magazines that impress me with their slick photos and exotic ingredient lists.  I am pausing at recipes that I would have formerly passed by on the basis of that little voice in my mind that would sling negative comments such as "too lettucey", "too labor intensive for a weeknight,"  or the all inclusive excuse "nobody's going to eat that."

Silencing those negative comments in my head and opening my mind to new foods and cooking techniques has allowed me to discover some scrumptious and healthy dishes.  Yes, sometimes my children say, "Thanks for trying new things, Mom, but can I have a bowl of cereal now?", but other times I find a winner.

I recently found a winner when I attempted Stir-Fried Turkey in Lettuce Wraps for a week night dinner.  Four out of six of us loved it, and that's enough for me to add it to my file of potential suppers.  The recipe comes from Martha Stewart's magazine Everyday Food, January/February 2010.  I am a charter subscriber to Everyday Food and have gathered lots of delicious recipes from it.  Last year, however, when I received "The Light Issue" of Everyday Food, I dismissed these wraps because once my husband and I had the unpleasant experience of being served gritty lettuce wraps at a restaurant. It is definitely time for us to let that go.  

This year when I revisited my "light issue" of Everyday Food, I paused at page 92 and marked Stir-Fried Turkey in Lettuce Wraps with a post-it flag.  I decided to cook this for my family and the only ingredient that I had to hunt down in my grocery store was fish sauce.  All the others were things that I already had in my pantry or could easily find in my favorite grocery store, HEB.

It turns out that Stir-Fried Turkey in Lettuce Wraps is tasty and healthy.  I can easily prepare it on a weeknight and the majority of my family is thrilled to see it on our monthly menu plan.  In addition to large grit-free lettuce leaves, I also offer warm crusty rolls in which to enjoy the stir-fried turkey.  One serving (without the bread) only has 246 calories and includes over 25 grams of protein.  The shredded carrots add crunch and color and my younger children think its fancy to squeeze fresh lime wedges over their sandwich.  I package any leftovers we have in containers for a much anticipated lunch.  It is exciting to find a new recipe that is good for us and delicious too.  I will continue on my quest for more recipes like Stir-Fried Turkey in Lettuce Wraps.

Stir-Fried Turkey in Lettuce Wraps
     from Everyday Food January/February 2010

1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic clove, minced
1 small jalapeƱo or Serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
2 large heads Bibb, Boston, or iceberg lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
shredded carrots
thinly sliced carrots
lime wedges
optional:  warm crusty rolls or baguette
  1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.  Set sauce aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok over hight until hot.  Add oil and swirl to coat.  Add shallot, ginger, garlic, and chile and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a woooden spoon, until almost cooked through, 5 minutes.  
  4. Add half the sauce to skillet and stir until meat is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve in lettuce leaves or rolls with carrots, scallions, lime wedges, and remaining sauce.


  1. This is just the kind of thing that I love to eat. It looks fantastic.

  2. Hi Heidi,
    We just love Lettuce Wraps and your recipe looks delicious. I really like it that you made it with Turkey,great combination. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

  3. Yummy! I'd love for you to share this recipe on my new Linky Party "Figure Friendly Friday". It's sounds perfect! http://familystampingfood.blogspot.com/search/label/Figure%20Friendly%20Friday

  4. I love lettuce wraps! I have never attempted to make them at home though!

    Jo @ SmileMonsters

  5. It looks so delicious. fantastic this post and interesting details shared in the post. i just try make this food. easy make tips shared so thanks .yum

  6. This is a just the kind of thing that I love to eat.and It looks fantastic.

  7. oh that's a great idea! i am looking to do some more stuff with turkey, i have some in freezer right now! i think i'm going to give this a try!

  8. I love the idea of lettuce wraps, I used collard greens as wraps a few months back, but lettuce is perfect for summer! (:


  9. too lettucey--that makes me laugh..have you been chatting with my husband? this looks really yummy. thank you for sharing this conscious meal with tuesday night supper club. it is nice to have some healthy stand-bys to go to.

  10. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. Actually, I'm really looking for this one because my wife wants to eat this dish. I'm sure she will going to eat a lot when I make this for her.

    Easy Stir Fry