Corn and flour tortillas aren’t the only things you can use to make a taco.
While browsing the dozens of reader-submitted photos in our #Austin360Cooks project last week, two non-tortilla wraps (or tacos, depending on your perspective) caught my eye. One was from Deana Larkin Evans, who writes a blog called the Weekly Menu (theweeklymenubook.com, @deana_evans on Instagram). She’s gluten-free and wanted to make an at-home version of P.F. Chang’s popular lettuce wraps, but with homemade hoisin sauce.
Americans have been making lettuce wraps for quite some time now, but it wasn’t until I saw a post from Jimmy Ho, aka @thesmokingho, that I thought of using a jicama tortilla.
Ho, who specializes in all things smoked meat and writes a blog at thesmokingho.blogspot.com, picked up some jicama tortillas he found at H-E-B and used them to serve homemade carnitas. Apparently, the jicama can hold up to gentle folding and, although it didn’t add any flavor, he says, it provided a cooling crunch to complement the savory filling.
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P.F. Chang’s-inspired Lettuce Wraps
For the homemade hoisin:
2 Tbsp. liquid aminos (or 4 Tbsp. soy sauce)
2 Tbsp. whole sesame seed tahini
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (or local wildflower honey)
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. Thai red curry paste
1/8 tsp. black pepper
For the filling:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground turkey meat
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Pink Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cooked white rice (or fried rice noodles), for serving
1 head butter lettuce, rinsed and dried
Mix together the ingredients for the homemade hoisin sauce and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large skillet. Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the ground turkey and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes so the turkey is browned and cooked through. Drain off any excess fat. Add the hoisin sauce and cook for another 2 minutes. Then add the water chestnuts, cabbage and green onions. Stir until combined, then cover the pot for another 3 to 4 minutes. Taste the meat mixture and add a little salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a spoonful of rice or fried rice noodles on the prepared lettuce leaves.
— From Deana Larkin Evans, the Weekly Menu (theweeklymenubook.com)