One thing I really loved about Hong Kong was the quality of Chinese food - high quality, refined, delicious, unique, special and so different from what I had experienced here in the US. Even now, I cannot really enjoy the Chinese food here as it pales miserably in comparison to what I had eaten while living in HK.
So this dish - I am not going to call it Chinese food. I don't even want to call it "Asian" as it seems to be the easiest label thrown on foods these days. This is simply a dish that I used to make which is simple, satisfying and delicious. It does rely on some Chinese ingredients, but really it is just a yummy dish. You can serve it over rice for sort of a Korean "bimbimbap" style meal, or in lettuce, for those of you wishing to watch your carbs intake. It is great as an appetizer or even as the main meal. Daughter #1 LOVES it so much, she has it both over rice and and in lettuce and she can take down a good amount of food.
Turkey and Green Bean Lettuce Wraps (or over rice)
3 tablespoons grated ginger
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons of mild flavored oil (olive, canola, vegetable)
1.25 lbs ground turkey or ground chicken or ground pork
1/2 lb of french green beans (the skinny kind), cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or you can substitute 1 can of water chestnuts, chopped)
1/3 cup hoisin sauce (my preference is Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian which has NO artificial color in it)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 bunch of romaine lettuce, leaves separated and washed
1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
1 cup of cucumbers, diced (use Persian cucumbers, Japanese cucumbers or English cucumbers)
3 tablespoons sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce (available at your local Chinese supermarket.)
1/4 cup of chopped peanuts
1/2 cup washed fresh mung bean sprouts
1. Heat a large fry pan/wok over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add turkey/chicken/pork and cook until almost all cooked, about 2 minutes. Add green bean pieces and continue cooking until green beans are tender, another 2-3 minutes. Add both oyster sauce and hoison sauce and continue cooking until all the sauce is combined with the green beans and turkey.
2. Take one piece of romaine, and in it place a good heaping two tablespoons of turkey green bean filling. Top with a sprinkling of cucumbers and cilantro. If spice is desired add just the tiniest dab of sambal oelek.
3. Alternatively this can be placed over rice and then topped with a sprinkling of cucumbers and cilantro. Mix and enjoy.
Ready to be eaten...what are you waiting for?