Updated: May 24
Simple, delicious, healthy (and family-friendly)!
Back in our mid-20's, we took a year off from the grind and spent it doing yoga and rock climbing around Costa Rica and the Pacific Rim. One of our stops was Laos, a beautiful country with rich culture, food and landscape. We ate to our hearts content in Southeast Asia, but we fell in love with this dish called. It consists of ground meat, usually pork, cooked with spices and served in lettuce wraps.
When we returned home, we set out to replicate this dish, and now it's one of our go-to meals. It's jam-packed with flavor, simple to make and HEALTHY! What more could you ask for?
Read on for our healthy spin on this dish. Our tip: double the recipe so you have leftovers for healthy lunches throughout the week!
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
1 pound turkey
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Boston lettuce leaves, for serving
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced or 1 shallot or chopped scallions
1/2 cup torn Thai basil leaves (use regular basil if you can't find Thai)
1/2 cup torn mint leaves
1/2 cup torn cilantro leaves
chili-garlic sauce or sriracha to garnish
white jasmine or sushi rice to serve
In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat. Keep stirring until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add 2 teaspoon of coconut sugar and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the ground turkey and cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat finely until browned, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoon of the fish sauce and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, make the dipping sauce by combining the lime juice and the remaining 4 tablespoons of fish sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoon of coconut sugar and 2 tablespoon of water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. This will be your dipping sauce!
Clean the Boston lettuce leaves and arrange on a plate for serving. Reheat the turkey mixture, then remove from the heat and stir in the onion, basil, mint, and cilantro. Transfer to a bowl for serving.
To serve, spoon the turkey onto the lettuce leaves and season with the dipping sauce.
Tips for Families:
If you have children with sensitive palates, you can set aside a portion of the turkey mixture prior to adding onions and herbs. Grown-ups can make a separate portion and add these in afterwards, along with any desired spice.
This dish is also delicious served on top of white jasmine rice or sushi rice, especially for kiddos!