I love Asian food, but going out to eat regularly just isn’t an option when you have no idea what is going into your food and have no control over it.
Sure, some items on the menu are going to be better than others, and they certainly aren’t as bad as downing a loaf of bed, but when you’re trying to be strict with your Slow Carb or Paleo diet, these little sneaky condiments can completely derail all your positive efforts.
Lots of restaurant Asian dishes contain MSG and sugar. Most contain soy sauce and/or oyster sauce, both of which have wheat/gluten in them.
This is an easy mid-week meal I can prep in about 15 minutes when I’m craving Asian food and don’t want to worry about “mystery ingredients”. I love this recipe because it is so simple to switch up the flavor combos with different spices or add whatever veggies you have sitting in the fridge. It also travels well for work-lunch leftovers and can be eaten hot or cold.
- Lettuce leaves (Boston lettuce or Napa Cabbage works well)
- 1 Tbs macadamia nut oil
- 1lb ground meat (works well with ground turkey, chicken or pork mince)
- Minced garlic 1-5 cloves (I use about 5 cloves, but not everyone likes garlic like I do!)
- ½ Red Onion or 1-2 shallot, finely chopped
- ½ Tbs ginger, finely minced (I use fresh if I have it, but out of a jar is fine too)
- 1 Tbs tamari or soy sauce (preferably gluten free!)
- Cilantro (or coriander as they call it down under) to garnish. You could also use Thai basil or mint.
- Chilli Garlic Paste or Sambal Oelek to taste
***Extras and variations***
For some extra protein and crunch, I add chopped nuts at the very end. Peanuts work well for Slow Carb-ers. For Paleo-ites, try macadamia nuts.
Diced veggies like zucchini, green beans or mushrooms (or whatever is about to go “off” in your fridge) make great add-ins. Just toss them in for a few minutes after you’ve added the spices and sauces!
For super crunchy shells, I’ll sometimes use raw cabbage. It’s sweet and doesn’t fall apart as easily as lettuce.
- Heat oil in a large fry pan on medium high. Add onion and cook till translucent but not too soft (about 2 minutes). Add garlic and ginger and cook or another minute being careful not to burn garlic.
- Add meat and cook until browned. Drain any excess grease if you wish. I usually don’t have much, so I’ll leave it in for flavor.
- Add soy sauce/tamari and chilli paste
- Add any extras you wish. I normally add chopped nuts and cilantro. Sometimes I’ll add some fish sauce or a squeeze of lime. Zucchini and mushrooms are great too if you’re looking to add more veggies.
- Put filling into a serving bowl and serve in lettuce cups.