Chef Tells

Resolved to save money by eating in more often? Or to eat healthy in 2009? Do both with this recipe from Chai Chaowasaree, from his new “Island Bistro Cookbook.”

Lettuce Wraps with Stir-Fried Ground Beef
Serves 4

2  T. vegetable oil
1 T. shallot, chopped
1 T. garlic, chopped
1 T. ginger, chopped
1 ½ lbs. ground beef or ground chiken
1  c. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1  c. onions, sliced
1 T. sesame seed oil
2 ½ T. shoyu
¼ T. ground black pepper
¼ c. Chinese parsley, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into small strips
1 cucumber (English or Japanese), cut into small strips

In a hot pan, sauté vegetable oil, shallot and garlic for 2-3 seconds. Add ginger and ground meat, and cook until the meat is almost done. Add mushrooms, onion, sesame oil, shoyu and black pepper and cook until the meat is almost done. Add Chinese parsley and turn heat off.

To serve, put one spoonful of the meat into a lettuce leaf cup. Add tomato and cucumber.

“The Island Bistro Cookbook” by Chai Chaowasaree goes on sale this Friday at most bookstores beginning this Friday. Order online at Save 30 percent by entering the code LEICHIC30 at checkout.