The chicken lettuce wrap is another study in contrasts. The warm chicken mixture is the perfect foil to the cool crispness of the lettuce, which is enhanced by the savory saltiness of the chicken mixture contrasting with the relative blandness of the lettuce. It makes a healthy, low carb and gluten-free appetizer – sure to please a varied crowd, and in the words of Lucy Ricardo, “it’s tasty too!” They also make a yummy after school snack if you’re feeling ambitious – or happen to have some leftovers, which is highly unlikely. I discovered this the other day when making these for this post timed out perfectly with my daughter’s arrival home from school. She was thrilled and appreciative.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1 pound ground chicken breast (some stores carry this, if yours doesn’t, I have put boneless pieces of chicken breast in the food processor and chopped fine)
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 bunch green onions
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 3/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 thai chili pepper finely chopped more or less according to taste
- 3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce (to make this dish gluten-free you must use the tamari gluten free)
- 1 Tbsp black bean sauce with garlic
- 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
Combine all in a bowl and set aside for later.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, when hot add the canola oil and then the chicken. Cook and stir while breaking up with a spoon until the chicken is almost no longer pink and add green onions, carrots and mushrooms stirring for about one minute or until the chicken is no longer pink. Next, add the water chestnuts, garlic, ginger and chili and continue stirring for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the sauce and stir to incorporate and cook about a minute more.
Wash and prepare lettuce leaves, I like to use endive because they are tender yet crisp and a nice size, butter lettuce or romaine or any lettuce you prefer can be used. Then, either serve all ready assembled or with the two components separate and let your diners assemble for themselves.
May this weekend find you with some lucky diners at your table.