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Colorful Lettuce Bites

Thai lettuce bites

From Thailand
These tasty lettuce bites are a beautiful-looking and extremely flavorful nibble that can be prepared hours in advance. This is a healthy and delightful snack that your guests will rave about.

Serves: 10 / Ready in: 1.5 hrs / Calories per serving: 160

Great for: heart healthy, healthy snack, low calorie, vegan

Nutrients: fat, protein, vitamin C

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (available in grocery store baking sections)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons scallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Asian bean sauce
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup organic palm sugar or raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup tamarind liquid
  • 1 teaspoon light organic soy sauce

Ingredients for lettuce bites:

  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut (see below)
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 1/4-inch chunks (with peel)
  • 1/2 cup shallots, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green thai chilies, thinly sliced (use jalapenos for less punch)
  • 1/2 cup raw peanuts, shelled and halfed
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 head lettuce with cup-shaped leaves (iceberg, butter, or Boston lettuce)

Directions for toasted coconut:

Dry-fry 1 cup sweetened shredded dried coconut in a small skillet over medium heat until it is lightly brown and fragrant, for 3-5 minutes. Toss it often as it browns so that it won't burn. When done, transfer it to a plate and let it cool. Then use or place it into and airtight container until use.

Directions for sauce:

  1. Use a mini processor to blend the coconut, ginger, shallots, and Asian bean paste. Grind to a fairly smooth paste. Use pulses and scrape the sides down as you grind. Add a little vegetable stock to blend more smoothly.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the coconut-ginger paste, vegetable stock, sugar, tamarind, and soy sauce. While stirring, bring to a rolling boil over medium heat and continue stirring. Boil for 2 minutes and ensure that the sauce does not boil over. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil and scrape the sides down until the sauce is dark brown and thickened to a medium syrup (ca 10 minutes).
  3. At room temperature the sauce for the lettuce bites should be a bit thicker than maple syrup but thinner than honey. Transfer it to a bowl and leave it uncovered to cool down. Once at room temperature, cover it tightly and refrigerate until use.

Directions for lettuce bites:

  1. Arrange all the ingredients except the lettuce in separate heaps on a nice platter or in small bowls. Separate the leaves and arrange a plate of pretty, cup-shaped leaves.
  2. Place the sauce into a small deep serving bowl and provide a serving spoon.
  3. The lettuce bites are served in this separate form, which looks really pretty and appetizing. To eat, take a lettuce leaf, add small amounts of each treat on it, and then top with a dollop of sauce. Fold into a small pocket and pop into your mouth - and then marvel at the wonderful exotic and exciting taste experience!

Go back to top of Lettuce Bites page or move on to Thai Roasted Eggplant Dip.

Go back to Healthy Snacks.