So, I was recently approached by Nuts.com to help them write a blog using Almonds or some sort of almond based product and to also outline the benefits of adding almonds and almond based products into your diet.
Of course, I agreed to do it, I mean what a great opportunity it is. So, here I present to you my ‘Vietnamese inspired Mince and Almond Stuffed Lettuce Rolls’. As always, my personal recipes give the classic recipes a little twist and snazzaroo. And, in this case I took the usual Vietnamese rolls, which uses rice sheets, rice noodles and peanuts, and changed it up a bit for you guys and instead used lettuce, cooked rice and most importantly ‘Almonds’.
So, here is my recipe and also don’t forget to check out the benefits of eating almond and almond-based products and also a great little infographic at the end.
Enjoy! Oh! And for any of you health-a-holics out there, this can be super healthy for you so give it a go!
(Prep/Cooking time: 1 Hour, Difficulty Level: 2 – Easy, Cost: ££ – Cheap)
(Suitable for Vegetarians if using certain ingredients)
~ For the rolls:
- Almonds (Can be salted or plain)
- Pork/Beef/Chicken/Quorn Mince
- Cooked Rice
- Onion (Roughly Diced)
- Carrots (Roughly Diced)
- Iceberg Lettuce/Cabbage
- Garlic (Finely Chopped)
- Spring Onions (Roughly Chopped)
- 1 Egg
- Soya Sauce
- Salt and Pepper
- Sesame Oil
- (Optional) Fresh Parsley/Coriander
- (Optional) Chilli (Roughly Chopped)
~ For the Dipping Sauce:
- Malt/White vinegar (½ Cup)
- White Wine (2 tbsp)
- Sesame Oil (1 tsp)
- Lime/Lemon Juice (½ wedge or 2 tbsp)
- Ginger (Finely Chopped)
- Chilli (Roughly Chopped)
- Garlic (Finely Chopped)
- Sugar (½ tsp)
- (Optional) Rice Wine Vinegar (If using, add 1:1 ratio with the malt/white vinegar)
- (Optional) Fish Sauce (1 tsp)
- (Optional) Worcester Sauce (1 tbsp)
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Mallet/Rolling Pin/Fists/Whatever
- Deep Frying Pan
- Sauce Pan of hot/boiling water
- Small Bowl
1) Start by combining all the ingredients for the dipping sauce into your small bowl to allow the ingredients to infuse into each other.
2) In your pan, throw in your mince whilst the pan is still cold and then turn onto high heat to allow the water to evaporate.
3) Whilst, the mince is cooking, take as much almonds as you like and put it in a plastic bag. Place the bag into your mixing bowl and roughly pound them up with your mallet or whatever. Once done, empty out the bag into the bowl.
4) Once all the water from the mince has cooked off, turn down to medium heat, throw in your garlic and onions (and chilli if using) and cook it all until the meat is browned and the onions are soft.
5) Generously season the mince with your soya sauce, sesame oil and salt and pepper and mix it altogether until it is well combined.
6) Once done, pour out the mince into the mixing bowl with the almonds and set aside.
7) In the same pan, throw in your rice and carrots and effectively make a lightly fried rice.
8) Again, season it with a little soya sauce and salt and pepper (not too much as the mince), throw in your spring onions and mix thoroughly.
- Don’t cook the rice for too long cos you still want your carrots to have a little crunch to it.
9) Afterwards, throw it into the mixing bowl along with everything else, break your egg into it and quickly mix it up until everything is well combined. Then set aside.
- The egg helps keep everything together a bit better when you wrap it so it doesn’t just all fall out.
10) With the lettuce, take a sharp knife and cut along the bottom of the core to release the individual leaves.
11) Carefully, remove each leaf without breaking it, though a few tears here and there are perfectly fine.
- TIP: If you can’t seem to get them off cleanly, you can stick a fork into the bottom of the core and in a sauce pan of hot water dip your lettuce on the side of the leaf you are trying to remove into the water for no more than 5 seconds. Remove from the water and you will be able to easily remove it with some tongs. (If you do follow this tip, you can skip to step 13).
- Also, if you don’t like lettuce or want to use something else, cabbage is a great alternative. Just follow the same steps but with a cabbage instead.
12) In your sauce pan full of water, using tongs dip your lettuce leaves into the water to soften for no more than 5 seconds. Remove from water and set aside for later.
- When dipping your lettuce, dip the white bit which was nearer the base first as that is thicker and will take a little longer to soften.
13) Next, lay out individual leaves flat on a plate. Spoon on some of the mince and almond mixture in a line near the top to middle of the leaf. Fold over the tip, then fold the two sides inwards and roll it up, ensuring you roll along its natural curve.
- If you’re using parsley/coriander, put it in along with the mince here.
14) Finally, serve it up with your dipping sauce and enjoy!
I’d like to just say I had great fun, as always, making and writing this recipe for all of you to enjoy. But this time was extra special as like I said earlier I was approached by Nuts.com and asked specially to do something like this.
Therefore, as promised here are some very interesting and great facts about almonds which may make you think about including them into your diet. Find more of these great facts on the official Nuts.com site here.
Health Benefits of Almonds
1) Lowers Cholesterol
2) Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
3) Heart-Loving Antioxidant Powers
4) Weight Control
Many thanks Nuts.com for the opportunity and I hope you will let me do something like this again soon.