Renee Loux is my Green Goddess, Cook Book and Chef Idol! The one person I would most like to cook with and discuss all things foodie and all things Eco Green. (OK Universe, I’m waiting for the call!) I had a few friends over a for a girls Spa day a little while ago. And I decided to make these Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps. As it is a bit labour-intensive, you can make the dressing a few days ahead and I chopped up all the veggies the previous day as well, so all that had to be done on Spa day was roll up the Wraps. The dressing was amazing and it turns out I had leftovers of this too, so I combined the dressed veggies with cooked rice noodles and a bit of home-made peanut sauce for a yummy noodle salad.
- 1–2 heads romaine lettuce 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar
- 2–3 ribs celery, cut into matchsticks
- 3 tbsp sesame oil 2 cups napa cabbage or Chinese cabbage, sliced finely across the leaves
- 1 tbsp raw almond butter
- 1 mango or papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼ inch strips
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- ½ cup finely chopped green onions, including greens
- ½ bunch cilantro, washed
- 2 tbsp peeled and finely shredded ginger
- ¼ cup packed mint leaves, torn if they are large
- ¼ cup lime juice + 1–2 tbsp 20 basil leaves, torn
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- ½ – 1 Thai chilli pepper (or other small chilli pepper) seeded and finely chopped
- Sea salt
- Separate the 12 largest lettuce leaves from the head.
- Bring a large pot of water to a simmering boil. Submerge the lettuce leaves in the water for about 10 seconds. Remove with tongs or drain water immediately.
- Shock under cold running water or submerge in ice water to halt the cooking and preserve the bright green colour at its peak. Gently squeeze and blot with a clean, dry towel.
- Toss gently with 1 tbsp of umeboshi plum vinegar to coat. Set aside.
- In a bowl or measuring picture, mix together the sesame oil, almond butter, garlic, ginger, green onions, lime juice, the remaining 2 tbsp of vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, agave and chilli pepper. Season with salt to taste. (This can be made ahead of time and will keep for 2 days in a sealed container in the fridge.)
- Lay one of the lettuce leaves flat on a cutting board with the rib facing up. Trim away the protruding rib of the leaf with a paring knife. Use a drinking glass to flatten the rib so it will be flexible enough to roll
- Make sure the stem of the leaf is facing you. Place ¼ to ½ cup of the dressed vegetables evenly across the bottom half (stem half) of the leaf.
- Top with a few strips of mango, a small bunch of mung bean sprouts, a few sprigs of cilantro, a few mint leaves and pieces of basil leaves. (The tendency is to overfill but less is more here).
- Fold the flattened bottom of the leaf over the vegetables and tuck under. Fold the sides of the leaf in (like rolling a burrito) and roll into a cylinder. Set aside and carry on with the rest.
- The rolls may be cut in half on a slight angle for presentation.
The list of ingredients is long but it’s worth it. The dressing is worth making double as it keeps well for a few days and its delectable on a crunchy salad, steamed veggies or as a dip
- Serving Size: 1 roll
- Calories: 100