Lettuce Cups with Pork, Carrot and Mushrooms
4 to 6 dried black Chinese mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, stems discarded, and caps diced) OR
4 to 6 fresh mushrooms, diced
1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil (vegetable or coconut)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon (15 ml) ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice wine
9 oz (250 g/1/2 lb) ground pork, OR
10 oz (320 g) or one package, extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground black pepper
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
3 to 4 spring onions, sliced, to garnish
Hoisin sauce, to serve
1 head of butter, red leaf or iceberg lettuce, leaves separated, washed and patted dry
sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)
Chili Garlic Sauce, to serve
Chili Garlic Sauce:
5 to 6 red chillies (de-seeded or not)
3 to 4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons (45 ml) white vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 ml)
1/2 (2 ml) salt
Process all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Store refrigerated in a dry, covered jar or container.
If using dried mushrooms, drain the mushrooms, reserving 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the soaking liquid.
Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil in a wok or large saucepan. Add the pork or tofu and fry until no longer pink for the pork and a light brown for the tofu. Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a wok or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger, rice wine and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Add the sesame oil and black pepper and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the reserved mushroom liquid, diced carrot and red bell pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Fill each lettuce leaf with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling. Sprinkle with the spring onion, sesame seeds and serve with the hoisin sauce and chili garlic sauce.