Turkey & Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

On my latest quest to prepare something something healthy, delicious, and different, I finally decided t o try my hand at lettuce wraps. These are one of my favorite things to eat at the Cheesecake Factory, and a few other places around here. These are really rather simple, and don’t need specific recipe, if you know what flavors you like. I don’t claim that my version is authentic, but it was delicious to us. I keep ground turkey in half-pound portions in my freezer, as I prefer to use only that much for the two of us, but I felt like that might not be enough (since the other components are so light) so I added some diced eggplant and peppers to bulk it up. I knew the eggplant would work well with the Asian flavors, and I love it. For the sauce, I used the same recipe I have used for my Thai-inspired chicken wraps. I made extra sauce, since we plan to eat these later in the week. Other than that, simply add your favorite toppings. For us, these are carrots, cucumbers, mung bean noodles (for crunch!) and some fresh herbs for a burst of flavor.

Toppings: carrots, cucumber, and my special sauce
The whole spread for the lettuce wraps! Including lettuce, meat mixture, fried mung bean noodles, sauce, carrots, cucumber, and chopped fresh basil and cilantro.
To fry mung beans, heat about 1″ of oil in a small pan, and break apart the noodles and cook in batches for about 10 seconds each batch. Drain on paper towels. If you’ve never done this before, it’s quite fun to watch!

The meat mixture: I used ground turkey and added diced eggplant and peppers to bulk it up without adding extra calories.

Ground Turkey & Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

1/2 lb ground turkey
about 1 cup finely diced eggplant
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, sliced
about 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
about 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
about 1 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp sesame seeds

In a skillet over medium heat with cooking spray, cook eggplant and peppers for about 7 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook for about 3-4 more minutes, then add ginger, scallions, and garlic and cook until turkey is no longer pink. Season with salt, pepper, and 5-spice. Cook 1 minute more then add soy sauce and sesame seeds; stir together.

Serve with bibb lettuce, thinly sliced carrots and cucumber, fried mung bean noodles, chopped fresh basil/cilantro/mint, and sauce.

For the sauce, combine 3 tbsp each soy sauce and apricot preserves, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp chili garlic sauce, and some grated fresh ginger in a blender or small food processor.
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5 Responses to “Turkey & Eggplant Lettuce Wraps”

  1. 1

    Court Cooks — July 20, 2008 @ 11:33 pm Reply

    Those lettuce wraps look like a great light summer meal.

  2. 2

    Joelen — July 20, 2008 @ 11:34 pm Reply

    I love lettuce wraps as well… and when I get lazy, I just toss everything together as a salad. 🙂

  3. 3

    Kevin — July 23, 2008 @ 12:18 am Reply

    Those lettuce wraps sound really tasty!

  4. 4

    nicole — July 23, 2008 @ 9:52 pm Reply

    It’s amazing how my different types of lettuce wraps there are. Look good!www.testkitchenrecipes.blogspot.com

  5. 5

    dining tables — March 27, 2011 @ 3:07 am Reply

    I think this is also nice with chicken. I always have a hard time seeking for some turkey in the market.

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