There is a wonderful world of lettuce wraps I recently discovered. Around this season fish appears in stores and restaurants more, so I absolutely had to try this salmon and pineapple lettuce wrap recipe. This recipe uses sesame oil which like olive oil, is one of the healthy oils. If you don’t have sesame oil, you can heat a skillet and brown 8 teaspoons of sesame oil in 2/3 cups of regular oil. Blend in a food processor; let stand for up to 2 hours, then strain. This will produce the distinct taste of sesame oil. The flavors go together so well that you might want to try this even if you don’t particularly like fish. Bibb or butter lettuce is sometimes hard to find too so you could just use any type of lettuce.
Bibb or Butter lettuce has a slightly sweet, buttery flavor. It is low in Sodium, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol. Bibb or Butter lettuce is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a great source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.
To get a good lettuce cup, smash the lettuce on a table until it looks like a little cone. The leaves will separate from the stem. Cut the top off. Run some water into it to help peel away the leaves. These cups make a really good presentation that you will want to try putting whatever you cooked into it! Lettuce wraps are also good for portion control.
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 1/2 pounds raw salmon
8-12 butter or Bibb lettuce leaves
1 (8 ounces) package sugar snap peas, halved
1/2 of a medium size pineapple
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 toasted sesame oil (or sesame oil)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon wasabi powder (optional)
4 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder (optional)
Cook the rice. Make the dressing. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup combine the honey, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic and wasabi powder (if using). Whisk until the wasabi powder has dissolved and then add the green onions and sesame seeds. Place the salmon in a ziplock bag and add about 1/4 of this dressing. Reserve the remaining dressing. Place the salmon in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Trim, core, and peel pineapple. Cut off the two ends and stand the pineapple on one end. With a chef’s knife, cut away the rind, curving your cuts between the rind and flesh. Proceed around the sides of the pineapple until all the rind is removed. Now cut through the pineapple, just to the side of the hard, inner core. Cut all the way down. Continue cutting around the core until you have several long wedges of pineapple. Cut the wedges into spears. Place half of the pineapple spears in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Save the other half of the pineapple for eating!
Preheat your grill to high. (You can also use your stove or broiler) Make the Honey Glaze. In a small bowl whisk the honey, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and wasabi powder until the wasabi powder is dissolved. Set aside.
Fluff your rice and mix with 3-4 tablespoons of the remaining dressing and the sugar snap peas, keep warm while you grill the salmon and pineapple. When the grill is hot, place the pineapple on the grill and grill 6-8 minutes or until caramelized, flipping half way through cooking. Add the salmon, flesh side down, when you flip the pineapple. Grill about 3-4 minutes and then flip, baste with a little of the dressing and grill about another two to three minutes. Remove both the salmon and pineapple (this can also be done under your broiler or on the stove). Remove the skin from the salmon and cut into four equal pieces and chop the pineapple into bite size pieces.
To assemble lettuce wraps, place 1 or 2 pieces of lettuce on a plate and top with 1/4 of the rice, drizzle some of the remaining dressing over the rice and top with a piece of salmon. Top the salmon with the chopped pineapple and then drizzle the honey glaze over top of the salmon and pineapple. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.