Vietnamese Turkey Lettuce Cups

By Chefs Ming Tsai and Christine Canlas, Blue Dragon
Culinary Setting
25 MIN

About this Dish

“Fort Point’s favorite Asian fusion spot, Blue Dragon, is known for their bold flavors and out-of-the-box pairings that blend the best of the both worlds like garlic-sake clams with udon noodles and brisket bulgogi potstickers, and their Vietnamese Turkey Lettuce Cups are no different. On the plate created by chef-owner Ming Tsai and Chef de Cuisine Christine Canlas, you’ll find a balance between the chilled lettuce & papaya slaw and slightly spicy ground turkey.”

Cooking Style
Pan Fry
Ground Turkey


1 heaping tsp minced ginger

1 heaping tsp minced garlic

1 heaping Tbsp minced lemongrass

1 lb ground turkey

1 tbsp sambal

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp Shaoxing wine

2 tbsp black vinegar

1 ½ tbsp fish sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Canola oil to cook

Papaya Salad

3 ½ tbsp fish sauce

3 ½ tbsp lime juice

½ tbsp grapeseed oil

¼ tsp agave

1 ripe green papaya, julienned

¼ cfresh cilantro, finely chopped

¼ c Thai basil, finely chopped

¼ c fresh mint, finely chopped

1 Fresno pepper, cut into thin rings

¼ c pepitas, toasted

¼ c fried shallots

1 head Bibb lettuce


In a large wok or sauté pan, heat with 1-2 teaspoons of oil and add the ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the turkey and cook until it starts to brown.

While the turkey is cooking, in a small bowl combine the the sambal, brown sugar, shaoxing, black vinegar, and fish sauce. Mix well to combine and set aside.

Once the turkey has browned and is just about finished cooking, add the sauce to the ground turkey and finish cooking. Taste to adjust adding salt and pepper if necessary.

Remove from heat and set aside to plate

In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, grapeseed oil and agave. Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary. Add the papaya, cilantro, basil and mint and toss to combine.

To assemble the dish, spread out lettuce leaves, spoon turkey into the leaves, add the salad on top and garnish with toasted pepitas and fried shallots.