Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sesame-Hoisin Wraps

These wraps are good -really, really good. And incredibly flexible, AND super easy to make. There are five components to them, but each is an absolute snap. Really.

First is the wrap itself, which you buy. Any type of flour tortilla works here. I used Guerrero brand Gorditas last night and I really liked the slightly thicker tortilla, but use whatever -regular, whole wheat or those green ones.

Second is the meat, which is sliced thin and marinated. A quick 30 minutes will do or it can easily be left all day or overnight in the fridge. It then requires only a quick toss in a hot pan just before serving, or cook ahead and reheat it, or even serve it cold. I have made this with many different kinds of meat, pork tenderloin, chicken, lamb, and duck breast (what we had last night), and all were really excellent. I'm sure that firm tofu (broiled with a Hoisin sauce glaze perhaps?) or even a firm-fleshed fish would also be really great.

Third is the salad. I like to make the salad with half a head of finely shredded cabbage with a few things added (cilantro and bean sprouts are favorites, if I remember to buy them), but sometimes we just have cabbage (like last night, because I didn't remember) and it's easy enough to simply buy a bag of already shredded cabbage, or use whatever is at hand or preferred.

Fourth is some cooked plain white rice, optional for making the wraps I suppose, but I like warm rice with the salad and dressings, and some prefer the sesame strips over rice rather than in the tortilla. I try to make everyone eating at my table happy.

And last, but certainly not least, is the condiments: toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and/or Hoisin sauce to drizzle on the meat strips, and one of two dressings for the salad. I can never decide which of the two salad dressing options I like best, and it's easy enough to simply make both.

I usually serve this as a wrap for dinner (with all above components wrapped in the tortilla, OR just meat and salad in the tortilla with no rice added, OR some, especially young children, prefer to have just meat wrapped in the tortilla with salad and rice served on the side), OR as a simple meat stir-fry served over rice with salad alongside, OR as a supper or composed salad -warm rice with cold cabbage salad and dressing on top, with or without the meat topping it all off (like I said, this is incredibly flexible). I usually make the composed salad with leftovers for lunch the next day.

I absolutely adore the contrast of the warm rice and cold crisp cabbage salad and dressing, both with and without meat. Depending on how many were at dinner and how ravenous they all were, often the meat is gone the next day. So, if the night before one makes the dressing(s) and salad, leaves the meat to marinate, and has all the rest at hand (don't forget the Hoisin Sauce), it is possible to walk in the door at the end of a long day and have this on the table in the time it takes for a pot of rice to cook while warming the tortillas and stir frying the sesame strips. And leftovers make a great lunch -however you put them together.

Oriental Sesame Salad Dressing
Mix together:
1/4 c. each canola oil and seasoned rice vinegar
1 T. each soy sauce and sugar
1/2 - 1 t. sesame oil and/or chili-sesame oil
juice of one lime
1 t. - 1 T. sesame seeds

Asian-style Apricot Salad Dressing
Blend in mini-food processor:
1/4 c. each apricot-pineapple jam and canola oil
2 T. seasoned rice vinegar
1 T. each soy sauce and honey
1 minced garlic clove
2 t. toasted sesame seeds
1 t. sesame oil

Cabbage Salad
Toss together any or all of the following:
1/2 head green cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 red pepper, finely minced
3-4 green onions, finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1-2 c. fresh bean sprouts
1/2 c. cilantro leaves

Sesame Duck (or whatever) Strips
Cut into strips and place in a gallon Ziploc bag: 4-6 duck breasts, 1-2 pork tenderloin, 1-2 lbs chicken breast or boneless thighs, or lamb
1-2 T. grated fresh gingerroot and grated or pressed garlic cloves
2 t. sesame oil
1/4 t. salt
Leave to marinate 1/2 hour or longer. To cook, heat a large skillet over high heat, add a tablespoon of canola oil, and stir-fry just until barely pink. Remove from heat. Serve with a drizzle of soy sauce and/or Hoisin sauce and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds -and with whatever else you choose! Enjoy.

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