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.