While appearing elaborate, lettuce wraps are actually rather easy and fun to prepare. This tempting Asian recipe emphasizes bean thread noodles and peanuts, though the flavors and combinations are limited only by your imagination. Try sautéed chicken or beef, dried shrimp or carrots if you wish. Serve with chile, peanut and hoisin sauce on the side. Leftovers are delicious all tossed together for a quick and simple salad the following day.
Chile Peanut Noodles
3 ounces dried bean thread noodles
1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon shoyu or tamari
2 teaspoons chile sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup dehydrated coconut flakes
1/2 cup toasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
4 limes, quartered
1 head butter lettuce, such as Boston
For the chile peanut noodles, soften noodles in medium pot of hot water until tender, about 15 minutes. Bring noodles to a boil and cook 1 minute, then drain and set aside. Using a food processor, mix together the peanut butter, brown rice syrup, lime juice, shoyu or tamari, chile sauce, garlic, and 1/3 cup warm water until combined thoroughly. Toss noodles with 1/2 cup of the chile dressing. Reserve remaining dressing, and set noodles and dressing aside.
For the lettuce wraps, arrange cilantro, coconut, peanuts, onions, limes, lettuce, hoisin sauce, chile noodles, and reserved chile dressing in separate bowls. Let guests create their own lettuce wraps by topping lettuce leaves with any or all of the items as they like.
Per serving * (about 8oz/221g-wt.): 540 calories (270 from fat), 30g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 61g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 23g sugar), 15g protein *Does not include sauces