Mushroom lettuce wraps are a great dinner that you can quickly throw together on a busy weeknight, with bright Asian-inspired flavors that make this dish taste fresh and healthy. This recipe uses a method we call “sauté and simmer,” wherein we brown mushrooms in a bit of oil, then simmer them in a simple stir-fry sauce, which the mushrooms soak up like a thirsty sponge.

You can serve the mushroom mixture on its own, or add some protein—cubed extra-firm tofu, cooked ground pork, or diced chicken—to make it a more substantial main course.

Field Notes

1.

This recipe is easy to tweak to make a smaller or larger serving. Use half the amount of ingredients to make around 2 servings, or double for 6 to 8 servings.

2.

Almost any kind of mushroom will work in this recipe; we like the texture and flavor of king trumpet and shiitake.

3.

After you add the mushrooms, the pan will likely dry out a little bit. Instead of adding more oil, add splashes of water until the mushrooms are cooked. Mushrooms contain a lot of water and soak up ingredients very quickly, so it’s best to add oil after the mushrooms release some of their liquid so they get a nice sear on them.

4.

Make sure not to add the celery and water chestnuts at the beginning, but only after the mushrooms are fully cooked. You want these ingredients to retain some of their crisp-ness, as this texture contrasts the chewy mushrooms very well.

5.

Sliced chiles (or a drizzle of chile oil) would add some great flavor and heat to the lettuce wraps.

Recipe: Cast Iron “Cast Iron Pressed Mushroom Steaks”

Yield: 2 servings

Instructions

1.

Heat a No.10 Skillet over medium-low heat, then add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until translucent and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, increase the head to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. If the mushrooms begin to dry out, add a small splash of water.

2.

Add the ginger and garlic and cook, storring, for 5 minutes longer. Add the celery, water chestnuts, and stir fry sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and cook for 1 minute longer.

3.

Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Stir in the mint and sesame seeds.

4.

Add more sesame seeds on top if desired, and serve the mushroom mixture with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

Photo: Laura Wolfe