Stir-Fried Wild Mushroom Lettuce Wraps (2004)

If you are searching for a low-carb appetizer to serve at your next party, look no further. This recipe is sure to keep your dieting guests happy without sacrificing flavor or interest. (serves 12 to 16) 12 to 14 ounces shiitake mushrooms 5 scallions 4 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 3 tablespoons chopped shallots 6 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro 12 to 16 small romaine lettuce leaves (see note) Twist off and discard stems from mushrooms. Gently wipe caps clean with a dampened paper towel or cloth. Pat dry and chop. Cut off and discard root ends and all but 2 inches of green stems of scallions. Chop the scallions. Heat oil in a heavy, medium-size skillet over medium-high heat and add mushrooms and shallots. Stir constantly for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Then add scallions, water chestnuts, pine nuts, garlic and hot red-pepper flakes and saute, stirring, 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce and rice wine. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then taste and add more salt if needed. (Stir-fry mixture can be cooked 4 hours ahead. Leave at cool room temperature. Reheat, stirring constantly, over medium heat.) To serve, stir cilantro into warm mushroom mixture and mound mixture into a small serving bowl. Place in the center of a platter. Arrange lettuce leaves around bowl. To eat, hold a lettuce leaf in one hand and place several spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture onto the leaf. Serve with paper napkins. Note: Small inner leaves, about 5 to 6 inches long, from a head of romaine work best in this recipe. Some groceries sell packaged hearts of romaine. When using these, trim bases from the leaves to make them shorter, if necessary. Per serving: 87 calories; 1 gram protein; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 7 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 125 milligrams sodium
Baltimore Sun photo by Amy Davis
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