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Appetizers, Healthy Eating, Leftovers, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Firecracker Vegetable Tempura Lettuce Wraps

Firecracker Vegetable Tempura Lettuce Wraps
Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

The best lettuce wraps cradle something hot and fatty. Case in point: tempura. Of course, you can make your own tempura, but my move is to pick up a box from a Japanese supermarket or sushi joint (or order extra ... Read more

Total time: 10 minutes | Serves 4
  • 6 to 8 pieces vegetable tempura
  • 2 teaspoons tempura sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 habanero or other hot fruity-flavored chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons everyday extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
  • 12 small butter or red lettuce leaves
  • 2 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 4 Japanese rice crackers, crumbled

Step 1If the tempura is fresh, set the pieces in a single layer on a wire rack to keep them crisp. If the tempura has been refrigerated, reheat in a toaster oven or an oven set to 400 degrees until crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Cut into 1-inch-wide strips, if needed.

Step 2Meanwhile, whisk the tempura sauce, vinegar, chile and oil until well mixed.

Step 3Divide the tempura and avocado slices among the lettuce leaves. Drizzle the sauce all over, then top with the pepitas and rice crackers. Serve immediately.


Shrimp Tempura and Avocado Lettuce Wraps: Substitute 6 shrimp tempura for the vegetable tempura, cutting off the tails and slicing each piece crosswise in half.


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