Since each Asian country and region within the country has their own unique cooking style and flavors, the options for delicious Asian food are endless, and I would probably be fine eating some kind of Asian food for every meal. Whether it be Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, etc., I’m obsessed with it all. Garlicky, spicy, sweet, tangy, umami—SO. MUCH. FLAVOR.
I like to check what’s on sale each week in the grocery store’s online ads to get some lunch inspiration before we go shopping. I saw ground chicken was on sale and immediately got my heart set on some yummy Asian-inspired lettuce wraps. However, a lot of Asian dishes tend to have some sugar in them *womp womp*. To be fair, the addition of the sugar really does even out the flavors, so it is often a necessity, but I swapped it out for a little bit of honey in this recipe.
This is a great recipe if you are sick of the boring old sandwiches and salads you’ve been having day in and day out. It’s easy and super quick to make, and forever my favorite part: you don’t have to heat it up at lunch time. The hardest thing about this recipe is browning the meat. It’s seriously that easy!
Meal prep it late Sunday night and you’re set on lunches for the week. As always, my recipe is enough for 2 people for the workweek (so about 10 servings), so if you are meal prepping for one or making this for a group for dinner, just cut everything in half.
- 2 lbs ground chicken or turkey (I like chicken slightly better for this but either will do)
- Frozen edamame
- Shredded carrots
- Plain peanuts (optional)
- Lettuce- Buy whichever kind you like, but you can’t buy a bag of shredded lettuce for this. You need large enough pieces of lettuce to hold some meat. You can buy a head of lettuce, but I like using Romaine hearts. No matter what kind you buy, be sure to wash it first before consuming!
- 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil (I used avocado but it truly doesn’t matter)
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- 5 cloves of garlic (if you aren’t a huge garlic fan, use only 4 cloves)
- 3 tbsp. Tamari sauce or coconut aminos – these are similar to soy sauce (soy sauce has sugar)
- 3 tbsp. hot sauce – I use Crystal brand because I know it has no sugar. You can use whatever kind you like, but read the label because many include sugar as an ingredient.
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp organic rice vinegar (apple cider vinegar will do also)
- 1.5 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp freshly grated ginger or ginger paste- (1 inch of ginger root=about 1 tbsp). I really recommend fresh for this recipe, but if you can’t get fresh you can use ginger powder (⅛ tsp ground ginger= 1tbsp fresh), it just won’t be quite as tasty
- Heat a splash of oil (enough to cover the bottom) in a large skillet at medium heat. You can assemble your sauce while the skillet warms up.
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients listed above in a bowl and stir. Set aside.
- Once the oil has heated, add your ground chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until brown.
- While the chicken is browning, throw a bag of frozen edamame in the microwave and cook it following the instructions on the bag,
- Once the chicken has browned, drain out the grease. We keep a jar for this (you do not want to pour grease down your drain unless you are totally fine with not having a working sink). Then, put the browned meat back on the burner.
- Give your sauce mixture from earlier a quick stir and pour it over the meat. Stir until the meat is thoroughly coated.
- Add in about 2.5 cups of raw shredded carrots and about 1.5 cups of cooked edamame and stir.
- Let the meat mixture cool.
If you’re eating this meal for dinner, you can serve it warm. If you are meal prepping this for lunch, just keep the meat refrigerated until you eat it. I eat this cold when I bring it for lunch.
I usually pack about 4-5 lettuce leaves and about 1 cup of the filling for Dan and I each for lunch. When you’re ready to eat, just put some of the filling in each lettuce leaf, wrap it up like a little burrito, and shove it in your mouth.
For a little extra pizzazz, I also add some crushed peanuts on top of the filling. If you have a food processor, you can chop up the nuts that way, but I usually just put a handful in a plastic baggie and hit them with something. It’s fun. Just make sure you don’t use any flavored nuts with added sugars.
This is one of the easiest lunches to prep and to assemble. The cook time is like 20 mins. total and the assembly time is only a couple of mins. It’s become a go-to lunch because I love the flavors and it’s light enough that it doesn’t drag me down for the rest of the day after I eat it. I usually pair it with some fresh berries on the side for a sweet treat.
Hope you enjoy it!