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).

Show 439, August 21, 2021: Sugar Sungkamee, Chef / Owner, Spicy Sugar, Alamitos Beach, Long Beach Part One

Sugar Sungkamee of Spicy Sugar

Spicy Sugar, a neighborhood favorite Thai dining destination located in the Alamitos Beach area of Long Beach, is open Tuesday through Sunday for in-person dining with lunch offered from 11a.m. to 3p.m. and dinner served 4 to 11p.m. Guests can also order take-out and delivery.”

“Located in an unassuming storefront on Broadway Avenue, Chef-owner Sugar Sungkamee and her staff offer an array of authentic Thai dishes made with fresh ingredients from family recipes that her father, the legendary Chef Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee (Jitlada,) brought with him when he immigrated to the United States.”

“Like many chefs, my culinary education is not a formal one,” said Sugar. “The skills and techniques I learned in the kitchen are what my dad patiently taught me. From helping me learn to read recipes and measure ingredients to showing me what to look for when selecting fresh seafood and produce – I owe my love and knowledge of food and cooking to him.”

“Among Spicy Sugar’s signature dishes are Tom Kha Soup, galangal coconut soup punctuated with mushrooms and tomatoes; Pineapple Fried Rice prepared with chunks of pineapple, cashews and raisins; and Yellow Curry, featuring roasted curry with coconut cream. Most dishes from the menu can be made vegetarian or vegan. Spicy Sugar also recently started serving Thai Singha Beer and sake.”

Chef / Owner Sugar Sungkamee joins us with a bowl of Pineapple Fried Rice at the ready.

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Show 439, August 21, 2021: Sugar Sungkamee, Chef / Owner, Spicy Sugar, Alamitos Beach, Long Beach Part Two

Sugar Sungkamee of Spicy Sugar

Spicy Sugar, a neighborhood favorite Thai dining destination located in the Alamitos Beach area of Long Beach, is open Tuesday through Sunday for in-person dining with lunch offered from 11a.m. to 3p.m. and dinner served 4 to 11p.m. Guests can also order take-out and delivery.”

“Located in an unassuming storefront on Broadway Avenue, Chef-owner Sugar Sungkamee and her staff offer an array of authentic Thai dishes made with fresh ingredients from family recipes that her father, the legendary Chef Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee (Jitlada,) brought with him when he immigrated to the United States.”

“Like many chefs, my culinary education is not a formal one,” said Sugar. “The skills and techniques I learned in the kitchen are what my dad patiently taught me. From helping me learn to read recipes and measure ingredients to showing me what to look for when selecting fresh seafood and produce – I owe my love and knowledge of food and cooking to him.”

“Among Spicy Sugar’s signature dishes are Tom Kha Soup, galangal coconut soup punctuated with mushrooms and tomatoes; Pineapple Fried Rice prepared with chunks of pineapple, cashews and raisins; and Yellow Curry, featuring roasted curry with coconut cream. Most dishes from the menu can be made vegetarian or vegan. Spicy Sugar also recently started serving Thai Singha Beer and sake.”

Chef / Owner Sugar Sungkamee continues with us.he ready.

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Show 365, March 21, 2020: Chef / Proprietress Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai, Westchester Part One

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai CuisineChef / Proprietress Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai in Westchester is the Host Chef for the upcoming 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste benefit at the Rose Bowl. Originally scheduled for Sunday, April 5th it has been necessarily postponed. When that new date is established Chef Vanda will be back with us with all the delectable details. In the meantime Ayara Thai is open for Take-Out and Delivery and would love to serve you.

“Growing up in a Thai-Chinese community in the Samsen District along the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, chef and restaurateur Andy Asapahu received his cooking and business prowess by helping his mother cook. Not only did Grandma’s (Andy’s mother) large batches of food feed her family of eight, but also those in the neighborhood, who would stop by to purchase her well-known curries.”

Anna, wife of Andy and self-taught chef, hails from the city of Lampang in the heart of northern Thailand and grew up in a family that primarily cooked with home and locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Since Ayara Thai’s opening day, head chef Anna remains a leader in the kitchen and continues her family tradition bWestchestery using home-grown herbs in the restaurant’s dishes. Reflecting both the dishes she ate in the past, as well as her family’s values in sustainable dining, she ensures dishes inspired and prepared with only the freshest ingredients that the season has to offer.”

“Today, the family traditions of Andy and Anna are continued and developed into the third generation, through their daughter Vanda. Living and working in Thailand for four years has given Vanda the experience to revive old family recipes, while traveling through the nation’s different regions has allowed her to discover new tastes and inspirations. After cooking with relatives and eating her way through the streets and countryside, it is these old recipes and new flavors that Vanda brought back to share at Ayara Thai.”

Chef Vanda is our guest with all the tempting menu details.

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Show 365, March 21, 2020: Chef / Proprietress Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai, Westchester Part Two

Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai CuisineWe’re continuing our interview with Chef / Proprietress Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai in Westchester who is the Host Chef for the upcoming 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste benefit at the Rose Bowl. Originally scheduled for Sunday, April 5th it has been necessarily postponed. When that new date is established Chef Vanda will be back with us with all the delectable details. It’s a wonderful, walk-around charity tasting event on the field of the iconic Rose Bowl.

In the meantime Ayara Thai is open for Take-Out and Delivery and would love to serve you. Think Laab Duck with roasted duck breast, lemongrass, sawtooth coriander, scallions, shallots, lime, roasted chili and toasted rice.

“With family recipes and cooking styles passed down through generations, the Asapahu family of Ayara Thai is pleased to offer a taste of authentic Thai food, where quality is never compromised. Using the freshest ingredients, each dish is prepared from scratch and enhanced individually by herbs and spices to ensure the boldest, most genuine flavors.”

Chef Vanda continues with all the tempting To-Go and Delivery menu details.

 

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Chefs’ Favorite Foods

Chef Jet and Travis discuss their favorite cuisines with a few practical tips along the way.

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Show 44, October 19, 2013: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris preview the show.

We had some particularly high profile culinary celebrities with us this week. Daniel Boulud (of his flagship Daniel in New York) is in Los Angeles the Week of Oct. 21st and we had him for a long, engaging chat discussing his new book, on keeping a classic French restaurant fresh and operating a new restaurant in Las Vegas.

Also when it comes to Thai food in America one of the leading authorities is Andy Ricker of Pok Pok in Portland and Brooklyn. He modestly does not profess to being an authority on Thai cuisine but Chef Jet feels otherwise. Surprisingly he’s not even Thai. Jet gets all the 411 from him on some of his signatures dishes and his love of all things Thai.

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Show 41, September 21, 2013: Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Proprietress of Susan Feniger’s Street

Susan Feniger of StreetSusan Feniger of Susan Feniger’s Street in Hollywood and Border Grill (Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas) fame needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She was also one of the early super stars of Food Network with her business partner Mary Sue Milliken in the long running “Too Hot Tamales” series.

Susan Feniger’s Street will be a featured restaurant in the upcoming Thai Food Festival.

There are lots of Thai items on the regular Street menu.

The dish they are showcasing at the festival is Khao Gee, a Northeastern Thai snack.

A new Border Grill, with a full bar, has just debuted in the revitalized, and greatly expanded, Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

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Show 4: October 27, 2012: Brock Radke of Las Vegas Weekly

Our Las Vegas insider, Brock, was back with more great finds.

Chef Gordon Ramsay is going to have three restaurants open on The Strip before the end of the year. Looks like the Brits have landed. Already launched is Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. Next up is Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in the former Bradley Ogden space in the center of the action at Caesar’s Palace on the way to Forum Shops.

The 3rd spot is a burger joint, GR Burger, with a youthful vibe. It’s going to be at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. All three properties are owned by Caesars Entertainment.
Brock then moved Downtown to highlight the resurgence there. There is new nightlife on E. Fremont St. Insert Coin(s) is a happening video game centric nightclub. Brock also recommends a favorite breakfast spot and his top pick for Thai.

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