Tasty Tuesday: Thai Wraps

Several years ago, my sister Laura introduced me to an incredible meal that shows up in my kitchen frequently.  The kids and I were driving across country to her house and spent most of the afternoon dodging tornados, trying to find gas stations open, and generally trying to make it to her house alive. We walked into her fragrant kitchen and sat down to the most incredible Thai pork wraps. They tasted so delicious that I made them 5 days in a row once I was back in my own kitchen.

Because Thai wraps can be found in many different incarnations I haven’t yet met one I didn’t like. This is a method, more than a recipe, so make substitutions freely. Here’s what we do:

Outer wrap: plain flour tortillas. You could use those fun green ones colored by spinach, or some other variety. We like the plain ones. I like to heat them on a very hot skillet before serving.

torts

You’ll be piling on some or all of the following:

  • Cubed pork loin or chicken breast. This should be sauteed quickly in a hot frying pan with soy sauce, or hoisin sauce, or plum sauce, or whatever sauce floats your boat. I usually start with a dab of olive oil and a LOT of garlic and the meat; I add the sauce when the meat is nearly done cooking.

thai-chicken

  • Some sort of shredded green; we use broccoli slaw or shredded cabbage. You can also use shredded lettuce.

shredded-cabbage

  • Cooked rice (My preference is Jasmine or Basmati rice, cooked according to the package instructions.)

rice

  • Optional ingredients: Sour cream or plain yogurt, Cilantro, fresh or grilled slices of red bell pepper.
  • A non-optional thing, which is required if one is to call these THAI wraps: peanut sauce.

To make peanut sauce, place the following ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes.

  • 3/4 c. peanut butter
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • a little curry (optional, optional!)
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper flakes
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 T.  soy or terriyaki sauce

The peanut sauce should be pourable but not runny.

peanut-sauce
So then you plunk all the various ingredients onto plates on the table and let people build their own.

assembled-wrap

finished-wrap

My brother likes to point out that if I added a little salsa to these wraps, I’d need to call them fajitas. The Thai flavors, however, really are pretty distinct. Between the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and peanut sauce, there’s no confusion of the taste buds.

I’ve also developed a little trick. If there are any leftovers, I use them to build leftover wraps that get stored in the fridge for lunch the next day. I’ve learned that if I just go ahead and make those wraps up, they will definitely be eaten and possibly even fought over. If I put all the ingredients into little containers in the fridge, nobody will ever bother get them all out and assemble a wrap themselves the next day.

Enjoy!

Barb Kelley.