seared tuna lettuce wraps
Seared Tuna Lettuce Wraps.JPEG

Growing up, we would occasionally go to the famous Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and I always loved ordering the Thai lettuce wraps with peanut dipping sauce. This recipe is my attempt to recreate this childhood memory at home. I would recommend getting very fresh, sushi-grade tuna (you could also use salmon), and you can certainly add a wide variety of ingredients to the wraps based on your taste and preferences.

  • Butter lettuce (1 head, with leaves cleaned and separated)

  • Shredded carrot (1 cup)

  • Purple cabbage (1 cup, finely chopped)

  • Green onions (1/2 cup, finely chopped)

  • Cucumber (1 cup, thinly sliced with knife or mandoline)

  • Sushi-grade tuna (1 large steak, approximately 1 pound)

  • Black sesame seeds (2 tablespoons; can often be found in Asian supermarkets)

  • Toasted sesame seeds (2 tablespoons)

  • Canola oil (2 teaspoons)

  • Toasted sesame oil (1 tablespoon)

  • Soy sauce (2 tablespoons)

  • Rice vinegar (2 tablespoons)

  • Garlic (1/2 teaspoon, finely chopped or grated)

  • Fresh ginger (1/2 teaspoon, finely chopped or grated)

  1. Begin by preparing all of the garnish ingredients. Chop or slice all vegetables including carrot, cabbage, green onions and cucumber. Set aside until ready to assemble the lettuce wraps.

  2. Unwrap the raw tuna steak and coat in the mixture of sesame seeds.

  3. Heat the canola oil in a metal skillet over high heat for several minutes. 

  4. Once the pan is very hot, add the tuna steak. Sear on each side for approximately 2 minutes, and then remove to rest. The middle of the steak will be very raw.

  5. Using a very sharp knife, cut the tuna steak into very thin pieces, approximately 2 to 3 per lettuce wrap.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger. 

  7. To assemble the lettuce wraps, place a large piece of butter lettuce down, add mixture of chopped vegetables, and top with tuna slices and a portion of sauce.