Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

Your sense of smell is so important, almost as important as your taste buds.  You can recall things instantly with your sense of smell, it is extremely powerful.  You can be walking down the street, smell something, and suddenly you remember something you haven’t thought of in years, just because it reminds you of the last time you smelled that scent.  Half the enjoyment of eating for me, is smelling the beauty of the food.

My father was visiting this weekend, and I found out he has been having trouble with his sense of smell.  He seems to be in good spirits about it, and hopefully it is just temporary.  Fortunately when he walked up the stairs for dinner on Monday night, he could actually smell the smoky goodness of the Big Green Egg fired up in the back.  Now that is heaven to your nose…let me tell you.

Tonight I came home from work to the worst smell ever…fish fertilizer and seaweed.  I am telling you, it doesn’t get much worse than that.  I walked into the house, and the girls immediately started complaining about it.  Yes, the men came today to fertilize the trees and shrubs.  They use all natural and organic fertilizers, but that comes with a cost, and I am not just talking about money.  The smell is so bad, it leaks into the house.  Since I am allergic to fish, it is even worse for me.  I feel completely sick.  There was only one thing to do – start cooking.  I needed something quick, and something fragrant, so I went to this recipe in Cooking Light (which I adapted slightly below).  I was desperate for anything to saute on the stove.  This dish is so delicious and easy – what a treat it was.  The problem was the good smell didn’t last long enough to wipe out the bad smell, and after dinner I found myself sick again.  I couldn’t even eat dessert.  I am now hiding in the office with a Pound Cake candle lit next to me.  I am dealing.  Good thing it usually goes away pretty quickly – especially when it is raining.  I am still thankful for my sense of smell, but looking forward to smelling rain soon.



  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  • 1  pound of ground turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 6  thinly sliced green onions (about 2/3 cup), divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut cucumbers
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 8  Bibb lettuce leaves


To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallot, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water and next 3 ingredients (through red pepper), and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 1/3 cup green onions; sauté 1 minute. Add ground turkey; sauté until browned, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and Sriracha; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cucumbers, carrots, and remaining green onions.

Spoon 1/4 cup rice into each lettuce leaf. Top with about 1/2 cup meat mixture; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve with sauce.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

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25 thoughts on “Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

  1. I’m sorry about your Dad’s sense of smell, but not if the fertilizer is around! These wraps look AWESOME! I ALWAYS order thai peanut wrap if they are EVER offered on a menu. Never really thought about making them, though!
    Glad you have that pound cake candle handy! :)

    1. I think the kids would like it too, especially the sauce, if they like peanut butter. I hope it still doesn’t stink too bad out there for your kids!

  2. This is definitely a recipe I’ll make! Thanks Dawn. So odd that your FIL is going through the sense of smell thing. My dad just told me that he too has this issue. So strange.

  3. Oh now that definitely doesn’t smell good. I love that you lit a pound cake candle! Perfect! This dinner does look like it would smell rather good though and I love the simplicity of it. :)

  4. Made this tonight and it’s a sure winner and we’ll be making it again. We’ve been watching the carbs around our place lately and this is certainly pretty carb friendly!


  5. Wow!!!!!! These are amazing!!! My hubby came back for thirds, which he never does!!! This recipe and sauce is amazing!

  6. I just wanted to thank you again for posting this. I was sharing it with a friend and it’s become a regular in our house and everybody I’ve made it for has raved about it. I’ve tweaked it a bit to suit our tastes, but the basic recipe remains the same.

  7. These were awesome. Even though I forgot the cilantro. Not sure why, but ground turkey in CA comes in 1.25 lb packages. So next time I will double the sauce. Some sleepless night, I may convert all the ingredient amounts by 1.25 . Thanks for sharing this!

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