I love to serve this unusual turkey dish as an appetizer or even an entrée. It can be made with almost any type of ground meat, such as pork or beef, if ground turkey is unavailable.
1 ½ pounds ground turkey
3 ½ tablespoons minced scallions, white part only
1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 bunches Boston lettuce, rinsed, drained, and stems trimmed
1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
2 cups canned water chestnuts, blanched in boiling water for 10 seconds, refreshed in cold water, and drained (see page 21)
3 cups scallion greens cut into 1-inch sections
Spicy Sauce (mixed together)
5 tablespoons Chinese sweet bean paste or ground bean paste
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoons hot chile paste
1. Put the ground turkey in a bowl, add the Seasonings, and mix together with your hands.
2. Lightly flatten the lettuce leaves with the flat side of a cleaver or a knife and arrange in a basket or a bowl for serving.
3. Heat a wok or a heavy skillet, add half the oil, and when hot, about 30 seconds, add the turkey and stir-fry over medium-high heat, mashing and breaking it up. Cook until it changes color and separates. Drain in a colander and wipe out the pan.
4. Reheat the pan, add the remaining ½ tablespoon oil, and when very hot add the water chestnuts and scallion greens, tossing them over high heat about 1 minute. Add the premixed Spicy Sauce and stir, letting it thicken. Return the cooked turkey to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Scoop the mixture onto a serving platter. To serve, pass the platter and basket of lettuce leaves; each diner spoons some of the cooked meat onto a lettuce leaf, rolls it up, and eats it.