This was supposed to be lettuce wraps.
I really wanted to make lettuce wraps so I could make something lighter as we (hopefully) stretch into the last warm days of fall and start to cool off a bit.
I have an issue with lettuce wraps. The lettuce is never the right size! Yes, you can get a head of butter lettuce, but then only about four leaves are the appropriate size. On the one hand, I don’t want a lettuce wrap burrito, but I also don’t want a lettuce wrap amuse bouche. You see the conundrum?
Then the lightbulb went off. Why not just do stuffed peppers with the lettuce wrap stuffing?
Bell peppers go so well with stuffing, and it makes for an interesting twist on the boring old stuffed peppers recipe. The dish is admittedly on the sweet side. If sweet with meat ain’t your thang, swap out the mirin for plain rice vinegar.
The other nice thing about this dish is its versatility. It will work with just about any ground meat, and you can use as little or as much rice as you want to fill it out (or no rice at all).
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 inch ginger peeled and minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds ground hog or venison
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Siracha sauce plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup mirin or other rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 8 0z cans water chestnuts chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 6 large bell peppers hats cut off, and seeded
- 2 tbsp sesame oil optional
- green onions sliced, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan. Sauté the diced onion and ginger until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the meat and cook until brown.
Add the soy sauce, mirin, Siracha and hoisin and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through and the sauce reduces slightly. Toss in the water chestnuts and rice and stir to combine.
On a foil-lined pan, stuff the peppers with the meat mixture. Place the pepper tops on the pan as well, if desired. Drizzle a little bit of sesame oil over each pepper. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the peppers are soft. Serve warm. Garnish with green onions and more Siracha sauce