Our favorite restaurant on our Mexico trip was Los Aguachiles in Playa del Carmen. The name comes from a spicy Mexican ceviche (you can read more about it here), but what we really fell in love with there were the lettuce wraps (or los figurines, as they were called on the menu).
Loaded with fresh seafood, bright vegetables and creamy avocado, with a plethora of homemade salsas on the side, we couldn't get enough.
So then we did - three times so far, and we've only been back I think two weeks.
The first night we made fish wraps: J pan-fried some cumin-spiced haddock (any meaty, mild white fish works well here), then topped it with a cilantro crema (this recipe, with a pinch of sugar added in). We added some shredded red cabbage, slices of creamy avocado enlivened with a touch of lime and sea salt, and lightly pickled red onions, and it was delicious and filling.
Later that week, the lettuce wraps were reprised, this time with a Japanese influence. J made some karaage (Japanese fried chicken) - using this recipe, and if you've never watched Cooking with Dog before you really, really should. We topped that off with some fresh bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro.
Then we did another round of fish tacos, and they were just as good as the first time.
There's a lot of room for versatility and creativity here, so I've come up with a few other combinations that I think would be good to try out:
- Argentinian grillhouse: some grilled flank steak cut into strips and topped with chimichurri sauce, along with some fresh radishes for a little bit of crunch.
- Sashimi style: sashimi-grade ahi tuna, topped with a wasabi aioli, fresh cucumber, and lightly toasted sesame seeds.
- Aguachiles: the dish gets its name from the chiles ground with water to flavor the ceviche. The link I posted above has a couple recipes. Top with avocado and pickled red onions.
The best lettuce to use is Boston or Bibb, but we've made these with leafy green lettuce and it worked out fine too. Have you made lettuce wraps before? What's your favorite filling combination?