Thai Mushroom and Quinoa Lettuce Cups
with mango and cucumber salsa
In Thailand, larb is the name for a super simple dish of finely chopped protein sauteed with a bit of seasoning and tossed with fresh herbs and lime juice. We've given this dish a Cook Smarts twist by serving it in lettuce cups. A version of this meal was last featured in 2021.
Smarts: As you might guess, larb is usually very spicy, so don't hesitate to add extra red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you'd like to serve it that way.
- Cucumbers - 8 oz , diced
- Mangos - 2 , diced
- Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 3 Tbsp
- Sugar - 1/4 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Mint, fresh - 8 leaves , finely chopped
- Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup , finely chopped
- Limes - 1 , wedges
- Lettuce, butterhead - 12 leaves (sub outer leaves from hearts of Romaine)
- Mushrooms, portobello - 4
- Water - 1 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Peanuts - 1/3 cup
- Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
- Quinoa, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
Quinoa - Combine quinoa with stock in a saucepan. Add some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make sauce - Chop garlic. Combine garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Mint / Cilantro / Limes / Lettuce - Prep as directed. Combine mint and cilantro. Store limes and lettuce separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Mushrooms - Remove stems and scrape out gills. Finely chop mushrooms. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Make slurry - Whisk together water and cornstarch.
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Combine cucumbers, mangos, and vinegar.
Heat a wok or large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until golden brown and very tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
Pour sauce over mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Give cornstarch slurry a stir and add to sauce. Simmer for 1 minute to let sauce thicken slightly.
Stir in quinoa.
Remove mushrooms / quinoa from heat and fold in mint and cilantro. Squeeze half the lime wedges over top.
Assemble lettuce cups by filling lettuce leaves with mushrooms / quinoa, peanuts, and hot sauce (if using). Squeeze extra lime wedges over top. Serve mango cucumber salsa on the side or spoon some onto lettuce cups if you’d like. Enjoy!