Canola oil, for cooking
2 tsp (10 ml) sesame oil (optional)
1 lb (454 g) ground pork or turkey
1 red pepper, cored and diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp (15 ml) grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro stems
2–3 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) lime juice or rice vinegar
1/4–1/2 cup (60–125 ml) hoisin sauce
1 head butter or leaf lettuce
chopped peanuts, sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges, for garnish (optional)
In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil (if using), ground pork and red pepper; cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the peppers soften and the meat turns opaque. Add the garlic, ginger, cilantro and onions. Cook until the excess moisture cooks off and the meat starts to brown. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar, cook for another minute, then add hoisin sauce to taste, stirring to coat everything well. Heat through.
Serve the meat mixture with butter lettuce leaves and garnishes; let everyone fill their own leaves, then top with peanuts, green onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, August/September 2014.