1

votes

Lettuce for wraps?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 26, 2012 at 7:51 PM

So last time I tried to make lettuce wraps (for tacos) it was an unmitigated disaster. I used a head of iceberg lettuce and they were just falling apart and full of holes. What do you guys use and is there any special preparation instructions?

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on August 25, 2012
at 12:49 AM

I think good collards are very mild. Not at all a bitter green - hope people at least try them - they're really texturally appropriate for wraps.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on August 25, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I eat endive pretty regularly and I do enjoy bitter greens, but find that bitter-endive-flavor does not jive with my taco and larb gai needs.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on March 27, 2012
at 12:54 PM

ha! i guess i do...never had a problem with it. i know it's also possible to blanch whole leaves very very briefly (like seconds) and then they're more easily digestible, but still sturdy enough. think stuffed cabbage recipes.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on March 27, 2012
at 11:51 AM

raw cabbage, wow....wish i had your digestive aptitude.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:24 PM

Yeah, I did radicchio wraps and forgot to warn my boyfriend, he was both upset and confused as to why his taco tasted so weird. Pretty funny, but yeah, not for everyone! Also probably better with the bacon, blue cheese etc route than trying to take it to Mexico.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:19 PM

I tried Collard greens once - their flavor is too strong to make a good taco.

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on March 26, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Endive gets my vote. The leaves are like sturdy little canoes that handle like a taco.

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14 Answers

2
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on March 26, 2012
at 09:02 PM

The best tip I can offer is cut the rib off where the leaf starts to broaden for more flexibility. Doing that should allow you to easily fold like a tortilla - into "fours." Also not overstuffing :) I always want to overstuff..

What I use:

  • Flat leaf Kale or Chard - these I use the most. Sturdy yet pliable. Also loads of vitamins
  • Romaine or Red/Green Leaf
  • Butter lettuce

2
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on March 26, 2012
at 07:53 PM

I like endive better, since it's pretty sturdy. (Tacos are smaller that way, though.) I also like collard greens for wraps--sturdy and the same general size/shape of a tortilla.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:19 PM

I tried Collard greens once - their flavor is too strong to make a good taco.

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on March 26, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Endive gets my vote. The leaves are like sturdy little canoes that handle like a taco.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on August 25, 2012
at 12:49 AM

I think good collards are very mild. Not at all a bitter green - hope people at least try them - they're really texturally appropriate for wraps.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on August 25, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I eat endive pretty regularly and I do enjoy bitter greens, but find that bitter-endive-flavor does not jive with my taco and larb gai needs.

1
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:06 PM

I find that you have to be VERY selective about the lettuce that you use. I usually buy several heads of lettuce, and then remove the outer few layers of intact leaves and store them separately for wraps. When I use iceberg for wraps, I typically use 2 leaves, overlapping the stem-end, so that it's in the center and the thinner part of the leaves are to the outside of the 'cup' that it makes. I place my fillings (taco meat, avocado, chopped tomato, chopped onion, black olives, chopped jalepeno, cilantro--and if I'm feeling froggy, home-cultured sour cream) down in the middle, and then wrap it like a burrito. Yes, I know -- that leaves me with lettuce -burritos- instead of lettuce -tacos-... but it's basically the same ingredients, you know.

OH, and this is important... I ALSO tend to eat my taco wraps at ROOM TEMPERATURE. I found that the hot meat "wilted" the lettuce, and I always ended up with a floppy, leaky mess. I cook the meat and store it in the fridge, then bring it out and wrap it while it's still cold. By the time I sit down to eat, most of the 'chill' is off of it, and it's close to neutral temperature.

The leaves that aren't strong, intact, outer leaves I use in combination with other greens to make salads, so nothing goes to waste, but I do have to say that I love the particular -crunch- that only comes with iceberg lettuce.

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:27 PM

Boston Bibb or Romaine. I prefer the Bibb for flavour, but Romaine works well, too.

1
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on March 26, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I'm going to throw radicchio out there. Functionally the leaves work perfectly, but radicchio is really bitter, so you'd have to be ok with the taste.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:24 PM

Yeah, I did radicchio wraps and forgot to warn my boyfriend, he was both upset and confused as to why his taco tasted so weird. Pretty funny, but yeah, not for everyone! Also probably better with the bacon, blue cheese etc route than trying to take it to Mexico.

0
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 25, 2012
at 03:45 AM

Whenever I go out and order a burger, I say hold the buns and wrap it in lettuce, they usually wrap in "several" layers of lettuce then put it in a burger/kebab/sandwich serving papers. you know the ones, they are like a square bag with two of the four side cut open. That holds everything together nicely. Get some for your home.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 25, 2012
at 12:17 AM

While not ideal for wraps, Belgian endive makes a great scoop for tuna salad.

0
799067567776857fb210951074a2ea74

on August 24, 2012
at 11:14 PM

I use green. or red leaf lettuce. I put the filling along the spine and fold them up lengthwise and the leafy part seals the wrap.

My bf does not have the same sass as I do with making wraps, so I have to make it for him (but transferring is messiER). Is there something edible that I can use to wrap the front part of my wrap to secure?

I'm thinking of soaking seaweed (chewing when in sushi) or even rice paper. But when I wrap it in rice paper (I'm Asian), it alters the taste of the "fresh" Lettuce wrap intended. Would Spaghetti be able to make a knot when cooked?

0
2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

on March 27, 2012
at 01:37 AM

Pure Wraps, love em'.Come in curry flavour or plain (google search them).Made out of coconut meat.There the perfect vehicle for meat and veg!

0
1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 26, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I use butter head lettuce. It's almost leathery, in that it's thick and it doesn't break easily when folded. Also, if you steam or boil whole cabbage leaves they are pretty sturdy.

0
Eea48ea8a2d50ac3ed486958dc7d9456

(190)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:56 PM

I double up on romaine leaves and it seems to work just fine!

0
4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on March 26, 2012
at 09:06 PM

i love to just use a leaf of raw cabbage -- super sturdy and more surface area!

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on March 27, 2012
at 12:54 PM

ha! i guess i do...never had a problem with it. i know it's also possible to blanch whole leaves very very briefly (like seconds) and then they're more easily digestible, but still sturdy enough. think stuffed cabbage recipes.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on March 27, 2012
at 11:51 AM

raw cabbage, wow....wish i had your digestive aptitude.

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:23 PM

Look for something with a good spine: endive or a really sturdy romaine. Collards are great for a study wrap, but the texture is tougher than lettuce. I'm not a fan of chard for wraps- tears too easily, stem can be too thick, and it's a bit bitter. I'd rather saute it! I typically buy a good romaine to make it really "wrap-like" and get a little dirty- my picky eater still likes it, and it is pretty mild so goes with everything. Endive reminds me more of big-person-ants-on-a-log because it feels like you are putting just a little bit of filling in each one. That does help to slow down meal time though, if you like a leisurely meal!

Think of going into the cabbage family too- a lot of big leaves with a crunch that wrap around a lot of fillings no problem! I like to do a South American version of cabbage rolls with a mole sauce, so that is a fun way to do hot wraps, similar to an enchilada or the like.

0
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on March 26, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I have the same experience. Romaine didn't work all that well either, as the leaves aren't broad enough. Endives might work - will try that. My next experiment was going to be with Napa cabbage. It's got a mild flavor, is easy to chew raw (unlike other varieties), has big leaves, and isn't too expensive.

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