Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with California Avocado

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Main Ingredient: Vegetables, Seafood, Fruit
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: Asian
Serves: 8 lettuce wraps

Health-seeking patrons are looking for alternatives to the fried appetizers that seem to take up much of the menu real estate. These lettuce wraps bundle together layers of intriguing flavors and crisp textures, including fresh herbs, crunchy pickled vegetables, hot sauce and creamy avocados. Customers will crave the combination without fear of piling on the pounds.

Ingredients

Sesame Vinaigrette:
2 oz. rice wine vinegar
1 oz. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. mirin
3 oz. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
Salt to taste

Pickled Carrots:
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
8 oz. cider vinegar
4 1/2 oz. sugar
3 oz. water
1 piece ginger (1 in.), peeled and cut in half
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili flakes

Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps:
1 lb. large shrimp (16-20 per pound)
2 limes, zest and juice
1 tbsp. sriracha hot sauce
2 sprigs mint, chopped
3 oz. glass noodles
4 fresh California avocados, thinly sliced
3 oz. mung bean sprouts
3 oz. sesame vinaigrette
3 oz. pickled carrots
24 leaves Thai basil, chopped
8 Bibb lettuce leaves

Steps

1. Prepare Sesame Vinaigrette: Blend first three ingredients with an immersion blender. Slowly add the vegetable oil and sesame oil. Whisk in sesame seeds and salt to taste; set aside.

2. Prepare Pickled Carrots: Place shredded carrots in a large heatproof bowl. Bring remaining ingredients to a simmer over med.-high heat. Remove from heat and pour over carrots. Cover bowl tightly and let cool. Once cool, remove ginger pieces, keep carrots refrigerated in the pickling liquid.

3. Prepare Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps: Preheat oven to 325°F. Toss shrimp with lime zest and juice, sriracha, mint and a pinch of salt until well coated. Place in a single layer on sheet pan and bake for 8-10 min. or until cooked through. Let cool, then refrigerate.

4. Drain cooled shrimp and slice each thin. Trim roots from lettuce leaves and soak briefly in ice water to crisp. Pat dry and lay concave side up.

5. Break up glass noodles and add to boiling salted water. Boil for 3 to 4 min. or until done. Rinse with cold water.

6. Gently toss noodles, sprouts, avocado slices and shrimp with sesame vinaigrette. Place ½ to ¾ cup mixture into each lettuce leaf. Sprinkle each with Thai basil and pickled carrots. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of California Avocado Commission