Oriental lamb and plum wraps

    35 min

    Packed with crisp raw vegetables and juicy fruit slices, these wraps make a refreshing alternative to rich Peking duck in a Chinese meal. They are ideal for entertaining because the lamb is equally good hot or at room temperature. Serve as a main dish, or as a starter for 8, with a bowl of thinly sliced cucumber.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) lean lamb neck fillets, trimmed of fat
    • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
    • 6 spring onions
    • ¼ cucumber, about 150 g (5½ oz)
    • 6 sweet red plums, about 340 g (12 oz) in total
    • 16 large, crisp romaine or cos lettuce leaves
    • 16 rice paper wrappers
    • Sesame dipping sauce
    • 5 tsp toasted sesame oil
    • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger
    • ½ tbsp sesame seeds
    • 2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp caster sugar

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. First make the dipping sauce. Put all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well. Set aside.
    2. Cut each lamb fillet lengthways into three, then cut each piece into long, thin slices. Mix the slices in a bowl with the soy sauce and set aside.
    3. Cut the spring onions lengthways in half, then shred them finely. Set a few aside for garnish and put the rest on a large platter. Cut the cucumber lengthways in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, then thinly slice the cucumber halves into half moons. Add to the platter.
    4. Halve the plums and remove the stones. Cut the plums into long, thin slices. Add to the platter with the spring onions and cucumber.
    5. Rinse and dry the lettuce leaves and remove the central stalks. Tear off 16 pieces large enough to fit in the centre of the rice paper wrappers. Finely shred the remaining lettuce and add to the platter of vegetables and plums.
    6. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a moderately high heat until hot. Add half of the lamb slices and stir-fry for 3–5 minutes or until the meat is cooked to your liking. Using a draining spoon, transfer the meat to a plate. Stir-fry the remaining lamb and spoon onto the plate. Keep warm.
    7. Pour 1 cm (1/2 in) hot water into a dish large enough to hold the wrappers. Place a clean tea towel on the work surface. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, dip it in the water to soften for 20–25 seconds, then transfer to the tea towel and pat dry. Immediately put a lettuce leaf in the centre of the wrapper. Top with a spoonful of lamb, then some spring onions, cucumber, plums and shredded lettuce. Fol1/2 in both sides of the wrapper, then roll up. Repeat, to make 16 rolls altogether.
    8. Shake the dipping sauce, then pour it into a small bowl. Arrange the wraps on plates and scatter over the remaining spring onions. Serve with the dipping sauce handed separately.

    Some more ideas

    This is a good way to use up leftover roast lamb, beef or pork. Cut it into thin strips. * Instead of the cucumber and plums, use 300 g (10 D oz) each grated carrots and courgettes. * Other vitamin-packed raw vegetables to use with either the lamb, beef or pork versions include finely shredded peppers, bean sprouts, alfalfa, shredded mange-tout, and thinly sliced button mushrooms or enoki mushrooms. * Sprinkle the filling with finely chopped fresh coriander, chives or parsley before rolling up the wrappers. * Chopped, drained canned water chestnuts will add extra texture to the filling. * Chilled mango or papaya slices can be used instead of the plums. * Pickled ginger slices, available from Japanese food stores and some supermarkets, can replace the plums for a hot, zingy flavour. * For an extra kick, spread a tiny dab of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) on each lettuce leaf. * For an instant dipping sauce, you can use bottled plum sauce. * For a spicy dipping sauce, add a good pinch of crushed dried chillies.

    Plus points

    Although lamb still tends to contain more fat than other meats, changes in breeding, feeding and butchery techniques mean that lean cuts only contain about one-third of the fat that they would have 20 years ago. More of the fat is monounsaturated, which is good news for healthy hearts. * Plums offer useful amounts of fibre and beta-carotene.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, B12, E, niacin, zinc * copper, magnesium * A, B2, C, folate, iron, potassium, selenium

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