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Bánh mì Lettuce Wraps

Bánh Mì inspired lettuce wraps {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan #raw

You got me! The name Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for “all kinds of bread” and this recipe doesn’t have any bread in sight. Honestly, I didn’t really know what the heck to call these tasty little Bánh mì inspired lettuce wraps…salad cups? No. I wouldn’t read a post titled salad cups and these are SO good that you will be glad you read it. I promise! Here is the thing; I really like the flavors of a Bánh mì sandwich. The slightly pickled vegetables, paired with cool crisp cucumbers, a savory sauce, and cilantro. I mean hello, who couldn’t get behind that?

Bánh Mì inspired lettuce wraps {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan #raw

These lettuce wraps are a wink and a nudge to the traditional sandwich with a little surprise ingredient that I have been playing around with in the kitchen lately, coconut. Not shredded, or flaked, fresh coconut meat marinated and sliced really thin. It really gives these salad cups a little “meaty” oomph.

I know you are assuming that I whacked away at a coconut to get the meat, but I didn’t. My Whole Foods sells fresh coconut meat already separated from the shell and cut into manageable chunks. If you have a Whole Foods close to you check in the produce section where they keep the sliced and cubed fruit and veggies. Now, if you don’t have access to a Whole Foods or don’t like coconut it’s OK… I won’t hold it against you. You can marinate tofu in the same sauce and cook it however you like for the wraps. Grilled or pan fried would probably be my choice.

Bánh Mì inspired lettuce wraps {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan #raw

Maybe you are wondering why in the heck I started playing around with fresh coconut in savory dishes. Well, remember when we made coconut bacon last week and I told you about one of my favorite restaurant’s in LA, Gracias Madre? Well, they served us the most amazing vegan ceviche tostadas when we visited there with all sorts of amazing fresh vegetables, coconut, and small strips of seaweed in place of the fish. It was mind blowing and obviously my visit there has fueled a full on love affair with all things coconut.

In case you are wondering, fresh coconut isn’t sweet at all and when you marinate it, it takes on the flavor of the sauce it is in. The best advice I have for using raw coconut meat is to cut it into very thin pieces. Too much coconut can be intense to chew because it is very dense.

Bánh Mì inspired lettuce wraps {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan #raw

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bánh mì Lettuce Wraps (Gluten Free, Vegan, Raw)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 as a meal/6 as an appetizer
 
Ingredients
For the Bánh mì Coconut Meat
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari
  • ½ tablespoon coconut sugar
  • ½ tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • ¼- 1 whole Thai chile, depending on how much heat you like, thinly sliced ( These chiles are extremely hot!!! Be careful how much you use!!)
  • Juice of half of a lime
  • 2 cups very thinly sliced fresh coconut meat
For Curried Cashew Cream
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
For the Quick Pickled Carrots & Daikon Radish
  • 1 small daikon, cut into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 carrots cut into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • ¾ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Garnish
  • 1 head of bibb, butter, or iceberg lettuce, leaves removed, washed, and thoroughly dried
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Thai chile, sliced thin (if you don't want any heat leave these out. They are HOT!)
  • Scallions, sliced white and green parts
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Sriracha
  • Sprouts, I used an Asian mix from Whole Foods
Instructions
For the marinated coconut meat
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the coconut meat in a mixing bowl and mix well with a whisk to combine. Add the thinly sliced coconut meat and marinate for 1 -3 hours at room temperature before serving in lettuce wraps.
For the curried cashew cream
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in the order listed into a high speed blender or food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Blend, scraping the sides as necessary until silky smooth.
For the Quick Pickled Carrots & Daikon Radish
  1. Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt together in a mixing bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the prepared carrots and daikon, toss to coat and set aside for 20 minutes.
To build a lettuce wrap
  1. To build your lettuce wraps layer the marinated coconut meat, cucumbers, pickled veggies into a leaf of lettuce, and drizzle the curried cashew cream over the top. Then sprinkle cilantro and sprouts over the top.
Notes
The coconut meat has to marinate for a few hours so be sure to calculate that into your prep time.
Hungry for more lettuce wrap action? Try my Asian Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Hoisin Sauce!

Asian Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Hoisin Sauce {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #dairyfree

 

Comments

  1. Oh these look scrumptious!! I’m going to have to try these for sure. I love your idea of using fresh coconut meat. My grocer, which isn’t a whole foods, carries coconut meat with the shell removed too, and I actually saw it yesterday and wondered if I should pick it up… I’m heading back to the store ASAP! Haha

  2. These look so fresh and delicious. Will have to try fresh coconut, bet there is a lot of different way to use it I prefer foods more like this as the weather becomes warmer. Thanks!

  3. Stacey

    thank you so much for this awesome recipe. coconut is wonderful marinated in savory recipes. this would go great with any of Ani Phyo’s Asian recipes for a feast! Terrific website too.

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ABOUT MEG

Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.