Virgin's Guide to Burning Man

A Virgin's Guide to Burning Man can be found here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Get Your Wrap On: Asian Stir-Fry Wraps

This week’s food experiment is very similar to a Thai dish I make fairly regularly. The Thai version would use fish sauce and lime juice instead of cornstarch, soy sauce and vinegar, and it would include mint and shallots or red onion, rather than white onion, bell pepper and ginger. But this recipe is closer to Chinese-style food and I was up for a little twist on an old favorite.

I found the recipe on Martha Stewart's website, but you’ll notice I’ve added my own personal tweaks; being Asian and all, I have my peccadilloes. So I made a spicier version with pork, in a somewhat Thai-Chinese fusion.

Asian Stir-Fry Wraps

1 ½ pound chicken breasts, cut in thin strips (I used ground pork; ground chicken or ground beef might also be used)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger
red-pepper flakes or dried crushed red chilies to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Plenty of lettuce leaves to serve (I used iceberg lettuce. Boston lettuce or Chinese cabbage would also work)
(optional: chopped Serrano chilies to taste)


Season meat with salt and pepper. In a wok or large, nonstick pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the meat and stir-fry until cooked. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining oil to pan, along with the onions and red bell pepper. Stir-fry until onion is golden brown and red peppers are softened (reduce heat if it browns too quickly).

Add garlic and ginger (and optional Serrano chilies); stir-fry until fragrant.

Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture. Then add the meat back in and red-pepper flakes (or dried chilies) and stir until evenly coated in the sauce.

Serve with lettuce for a light appetizer or small meal, or serve with rice if you prefer something more filling and hearty.

My Thoughts

I would say this recipe is pretty forgiving, so if you're feeling bold, you might experiment with different flavors, perhaps adding basil or chopped mushrooms, or using different types of meat or tofu instead. Or try going Thai style! The only caveat is that the recipe described here is about as fusion-y as I would go. Choose either Thai style flavors (with mint, red onions, fish sauce and lime juice) or Chinese style (with bell peppers, ginger, cornstarch, vinegar, and soy sauce). Don’t mix and match.

This recipe turned out to be very yummy and was fun to eat with the wraps for a little change up from the regular routine. It is light and fresh, surprisingly filling, and pretty simple to make. Served with rice, I think it could easily be a staple dish to eat regularly. Served with lettuce wraps, it does get a little that might be more fun as a party appetizer or some other special occasion where you don't mind having a little fun with your food. Top it off with a cool beer, and you've got yourself a great summer dish.

My rating?

Weekly Food Experiment Rating System:
♥♥♥♥♥ "Omigod this is awesome, I could eat it every night!"
♥♥♥♥ "Wow this is amazing for a special meal!"
♥♥♥ "Great choice for a dinner party!"
♥♥ "Hey, that was pretty good. We should have it again sometime."
♥ "Eh. S'all right...."
♠ "Ugh, no! That was so bad I just had to share the failure that was this meal."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.