The Home Bistro—with Chef Cynthia | Rainbow Chopped In Crystal Fold {aka. Asian Tacos}

It starting to really look a lot like spring out there. A little sunshine and daffodils in the gardens can certainly lift our spirits. Even the rain seems to reveal a greener canvas each time. Thinking on the lighter, brighter and more colourful side, this week’s Home Bistro recipe is all about textures and bold tastes—sweet & hot.

I remember the first time I fell in love with this dish was on Avenue Road when the Pink Pearl was one of the top Asian restaurants in Yorkville. Since then, Dynasty in Yorkville has taken over the dish as well as the Pearl Harbourfront. They all make it slightly differently, and mine is no exception. Again, this is a recipe you can interpret and change to your tastes. I’ve provided a few notes along the way for substitutions.

It’s a family style dish I’m sure the kids would love to help you make.  While the traditional name of this dish is “Rainbow Chopped in Crystal Fold” (colourful dish in lettuce cup), if you call it ‘Asian Tacos’, I’m sure it will be a hit! Leftovers are great for lunches

Note on Ginger – Try to use organic ginger. It has a whole bunch more flavour, its grown closer to home and its way healthier. And not much difference pricewise. I’ve seen it at all three grocery stores in Picton (it comes in a netted pouch.)

Note on Bowl – I just have to mention the beautiful white ceramic bowl in the photo. It was locally made for me by Caitlin at Cylinder Studio. It is my “go to” bowl for serving most nights at home. It’s the perfect size and depth to hold a great salad or dishes like this one. She has a super online store that you can order from directly and when we can finally go out shopping again, you can visit Caitlin at her studio/shop at House of Falconer in Picton.

Questions? Text me 613-922-9194

Keep Healthy & Cheers From the Farm.


Rainbow Chopped in Crystal Fold


  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce


  • ¾ pound (350g) ground turkey (or chicken/pork/beef/plant-based)
  • 6-10 lettuce leaves – cup shape (bib or iceberg)
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped (green and white parts)
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup red, orange or yellow peppers, small slices
  • ½ carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (or 1 small can of bamboo shoots, small slices)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon, garlic, minced
  • 1-2 small chili, red or green, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil

Cooking Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • ½ teaspoon white or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

Garnish + Serving Sauces

  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
  • hoisin Sauce
  • sriracha sauce


Prepare all the ingredients for the marinade and place in a small bowl and whisk together. Place the ground meat in a medium size bowl and pour marinade on top. Massage all the ingredients together. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare your vegetables. Wash and dry your lettuce leaves and place them in a bowl in the fridge Wash and cut the rest of the vegetables and place on a large plate or bowl so its handy when cooking.

In a small bowl, place the Cooking Sauce ingredients and whisk together. Set aside. Prepare your peanuts and set aside.

Now you are ready to cook. Note – You can prep all these items in the afternoon and hold everything in the fridge till you are ready to cook and eat. It’s a fast cooking process.


Retrieve the meat and vegetables from the fridge, except for the lettuce cups and place by your stovetop. Place a large fry pan over high heat and add the sesame oil. When hot, add the meat and stir fry, making sure to break apart any lumps. Cook till just before it is done. Carefully remove the meat and place in a bowl, leaving any remaining liquid in the pan.

Add the sunflower oil to the pan. Continue over high heat and add in the garlic, ginger and chili. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add in the peppers, carrots, onions, mushrooms and continue stirring and cooking for around 2 minutes, till they just start getting a bit soft. Add in the cooked meat and mix everything thoroughly. Add in the Cooking Sauce and mix everything together and cook a further 30 seconds till absorbed. Turn off the heat and add in the bean sprouts and toss together.

Slide the mixture onto a large platter and sprinkle with the peanuts. Bring out the lettuce leaves and sauces to accompany the dish. Usually you let your guests assemble their own.

To eat, place a lettuce leaf on your plate and with the back of a spoon, glaze the inside of the cup with hoisin sauce (and sriracha, if you like). Place about a quarter of a cup of the mixture on top. Fold and roll over to create a mini pocket. Enjoy!





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