Thai-style lettuce wraps

Thai-style lettuce wraps

Thai-style lettuce wrap filling

Make something easy and refreshing, like I did.  I had a 1 pound container of lump crabmeat from Costco on hand that I needed to use, as well as three heads of romaine lettuce.  What else would there be to do but make Thai crab lettuce wraps?  I could rig up the lettuce leaves and filling and then we could all roll our own wraps on the fly while watching a movie.  Sold.  I broke up the crabmeat and mixed it with chopped scallions, roasted peanuts, lime juice, fish sauce (you can get this in any Asian market), Sriracha sauce (ditto about the Asian market, but you can use some kind of dried, ground chili, as well, though not the ‘chili powder’ mix  for chili con carne), chopped cilantro, a few chopped mint leaves, shredded red cabbage, a pinch of sugar and a little salt.  Make your filling to taste with the things I mention, but if you are not used to nailing that hot-sour-sweet profile so common in Asian cuisine, then mix the liquids, Sriracha and sugar by themselves until they work well together (taste as you go) and then add the result to the other ingredients.  You don’t want to waste a pound of crabmeat, which I would rather die than do.  Advice:  don’t add too much liquid to the filling; you can always save leftover sauce for something else.  Go easy on the salt, because there is plenty of it in fish sauce.  Go easy on the fish sauce.  Fish sauce is magical.  If you use a little, you’ll get great flavor that won’t immediately make you think of fish sauce.  Too much, and you will be turned off and won’t taste the crab.  Let the mass sit and mingle in the fridge for an hour, covered.  To prep the lettuce, just cut off the stem and separate the leaves.  Fill your sink with cold water and some ice, if you have it, and let the leaves soak in there for a few minutes.  Move them, in layers, to paper towels.  You can then roll them up in the towels, wrap up and store in the veggie crisper of your fridge, if you won’t be eating right away.  I don’t need to tell you how to eat this, do I?  I thought not.

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