Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey (Video)
Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey are a delicious low-carb and gluten-free dinner idea that’s also fun to eat!
I vividly remember when I first had lettuce wraps, at a Chinese restaurant in Salt Lake where a friend named Mike was hip enough to order them even though they weren’t on the menu. This was about 20 years ago; now lettuce wraps like these Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey are somewhat mainstream, and made with lean ground turkey like this, they make a wonderfully low-carb and gluten-free dinner option. And you can easily adapt them to use ground beef for Keto or use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos for gluten-free or Paleo.
This dish with spicy meat eaten inside pieces of lettuce can be called lettuce wraps or lettuce cups, but I like to pile up the lettuce cup with lots of filling rather than wrapping it, so I’m calling them lettuce cups.
Steps for Making Asian Lettuce Cups:
(Scroll down for complete recipe, including nutritional information.)
- Start with finely minced red onion (or shallots), garlic, and ginger, which are sauteed in oil before the meat is added.
- Then add ground turkey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and a touch of fish sauce and saute until the meat is well done and infused with all the other flavors.
- While the ground turkey was cooking, I used the bowl attachment of my Immersion Blender (affiliate link) to finely chop about half a bunch of fresh cilantro. If it was summer and I had herbs from my garden, I might have chopped some fresh mint to garnish the lettuce cups.
- Add the chopped cilantro to the cooked meat mixture and cook a few minutes more.
- Cut out the core from a head of Boston lettuce, butter lettuce, or even iceberg lettuce, wash the lettuce and spin dry, and you’re ready to eat!
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
You could make a meal out of these lettuce wraps, but if you want a heartier dinner, Chinese Cucumber Salad would be a good side dish for a low-carb meal.
More Tasty Recipes for Lettuce Wraps:
The BEST Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
15+ Low-Carb and Keto Wraps with Lettuce, Collards, and Cabbage ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Weekend Food Prep:
Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey have been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 1 T peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 3 T minced red onion or shallots
- 2 T minced garlic (I used minced garlic from a jar but fresh garlic would be even better)
- 2 T grated ginger root
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
- 4 T soy sauce (see notes)
- 1 T Chile Garlic Sauce (or slightly more if you like spicy foods)
- 1 tsp. fish sauce (probably optional, although I like fish sauce!)
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (see notes)
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts (optional, especially for braces wearers!)
- 1 large head or 2 small heads lettuce (see notes)
- Chop onion and set aside.
- Peel ginger root, then grate with the large side of a cheese grater.
- Then chop garlic if using fresh garlic.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
- Add onion and saute about 2 minutes.
- Then add garlic and ginger root and saute about one minute more.
- Add ground turkey to frying pan (with a bit more oil if needed) and break apart and spread out with turner.
- Then add soy sauce, Chile Garlic Sauce (affiliate link), and fish sauce.
- Cook until the turkey is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
- While turkey cooks, wash and chop fresh cilantro to make 1 cup.
- Remove the core end from lettuce, separate leaves, and wash in salad spinner and spin dry (or wash under running water and dry with paper towels.)
- Chop peanuts and put in small bowl to serve at the table.
- When turkey is done, add chopped cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more.
- Serve filling and lettuce leaves in separate bowls, with chopped peanuts in another small bowl.
- Each person takes a lettuce leaf, fills with desired amount of turkey mixture, adds chopped peanuts, and then eats the mixture from the lettuce cup. I fold the lettuce cup over when I eat it, so it’s kind of taco-shaped, but some people like to wrap the lettuce clear around the filling.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4.4gUnsaturated Fat: 13.3gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 850mgCarbohydrates: 6.7gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
With lean ground turkey and other low-carb ingredients, Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling are a perfect dinner option for any phase of the South Beach Diet or other low-carb eating plans. If you use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce this can easily be suitable for gluten-free or Paleo/Whole 30 eaters. For Keto, you might want to use higher-fat ground beef, which will still be delicious in this recipe.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Lettuce Wraps to see more recipes like this one! Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.