Asian Turkey Cabbage Wraps

This is a favorite of mine on busy days when I don’t have a lot of time to cook as it comes together pretty quickly. The recipe is inspired by a combination of Thai/Laotian Larb and generic Asian lettuce wraps and is a combination/modification of two different Cooking Light recipes I have made over the years. The recipe actually works best with cabbage leaves, they hold in the liquid best, but I couldn’t find good-looking cabbage today so I used red leaf lettuce. I have to admit that the lettuce didn’t work very well. The turkey mixture just burst through the lettuce, so we ended up eating it with a fork instead of picking it up like a taco. It still tasted great though. I typically use ground turkey breast but sometimes use ground chicken breast or lean grass-fed ground beef. I have added more vegetables over the years and this is my latest spin on the dish. Enjoy!

Asian Turkey Cabbage Wraps

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Fresh, light take on asian lettuce rolls and Larb using ground turkey breast and vegetables.

Credit: Cooking Light’s  Asian Turkey Cabbage Cups and Thai Beef Cabbage Cups


  • Sesame Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated and peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 shallot, chopped (or 1/2 sweet onion, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup carrot shreds
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (or thai chile pepper)
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast (or ground chicken breast or grass-fed lean ground beef)
  • 6 oz. package of shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
  • 1 lime, squeezed (~2 tablespoons juice)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 package of bean sprouts
  • 8 large green cabbage leaves (or napa cabbage leaves or red leaf lettuce as pictured)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted peanuts (if desired)


  1. Chop all ingredients.
  2. Heat a large skillet with some sesame oil. I just use enough so that my ingredients don’t stick.
  3. Sauté the garlic, ginger, shallot or onion, carrots and *jalapeño on medium high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. *NOTE: I often leave the jalapeño chopped and uncooked on the side instead of adding it here as my son won’t eat spicy food. It works fine this way and everyone is happy.
  4. Add the ground turkey and mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until turkey is fully cooked. Add the beansprouts and cook for an additional minute or two. Remove from the heat.
  5. While the turkey mixture is cooking, add 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, the lime juice, honey, fish sauce, cilantro and mint to a large serving bowl. Stir with a whisk.
  6. Add turkey mixture to the liquid mixture in the bowl and toss to coat the turkey mixture.
  7. Fill cabbage cups with the turkey mixture. Top with chopped peanuts if desired (I seem to always forget this step). Top with chopped jalapeños if they are on the side.

The vegetables
Cooking the turkey mixture
The dressing mixture and side of jalapeños
Ready to serve. I left some bean sprouts raw to add crunch.

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