Show 450, November 6, 2021: MJ Hong, Culinary Instructor & Recipe Developer – The One-Pan College Cookbook

Cookbook Author MJ Hong

The One-Pan College Cookbook: 80 Easy Recipes for Quick, Good Food is from (Orange County-based) recipe developer and culinary instructor MJ Hong. “Graduate from instant ramen and make delicious one-pan meals. Cooking can be a great way to explore new foods, develop new kitchen skills, and save yourself time and money.”

“With The One-Pan College Cookbook, any college student or beginner cook can make nutritious, easy one-pan recipes―no prerequisite required. These dorm-friendly dishes also provide the cooking skills and tips every student will use well beyond undergrad. In addition to easy recipes all made in one pan, you’ll find meal planning tips and creative ideas to make the most out of ingredients and leftovers to save time and money.”

“Save money and shop smart with guidance for stretching your dollar and navigating the grocery store like a pro. Each chapter includes a few recipes that serve one, but most of the recipes produce two servings, either for two people or to have leftovers. And occasionally a recipe makes enough for four people, making it perfect for sharing with friends (not to mention making great leftovers).”

The recipes are a mix of lighter dishes as well as some more filling comfort foods including: Breakfast; Snacks and

“The recipes are a mix of lighter dishes as well as some more filling comfort foods including: Breakfast; Snacks and Small Bites; Burgers, Sandwiches and Other Handhelds; Meatless Mains; Seafood and Poultry; Pork and Beef and Desserts.”

MJ has graciously shared her original recipe for Thai-Inspired Lettuce Wraps with us. “Fresh and tangy flavors paired with crunchy vegetables make for a satisfying bite in these refreshing lettuce wraps.

MJ Hong joins us with a skillet securely in hand.

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Thai-Inspired Lettuce Wraps

Thai Inspired Lettuce Wraps by MJ Hong

Recipe excerpt from:
The One-Pan College Cookbook: 80 Easy Recipes for Quick, Good Food
by MJ Hong

Fresh and tangy flavors paired with crunchy vegetables make for a satisfying bite in these refreshing lettuce wraps. Use your favorite ground meat or omit it altogether and double up on the vegetables. You can also make this into a bowl and serve it over chopped fresh lettuce or cooked rice.

Serves 2
Prep TIme: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken, turkey, pork, or beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 carrot, diced or grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or any nut butter
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves
  1. In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the meat and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it up, for about 3 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, carrot, bell pepper, hoisin sauce, and peanut butter and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the scallion, cilantro, and lime juice.
  4. To serve, separate the lettuce leaves and place on a plate. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the filling into the center of each leaf and eat taco-style.

REMIX TIP: For a Korean-inspired flavor, omit the hoisin sauce and peanut butter and instead add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. For spice, add 1 tablespoon of gochujang (Korean red chili paste).