20 Minute Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Recipe

Chicken lettuce wraps

May 9, 2014

in Food, Recipes

This week’s dish is my interpretation of a very traditional dish that we ate around Chinese New Years in my family. I told my mom that I was going to put this recipe online and she mocked me; she said it’s a meal made with leftovers and that it shouldn’t warrant being shared. Our family ate this dish the day after new years; my mom would often debone leftover chicken and roast pork, toss it up in a wok with aromatics like ginger and scallion and let us have at it with a pile of lettuce and hoisin sauce to dip. My version of this dish obviously isn’t going to use your leftovers, but does include an awesome crunchy snack treat that we were never allowed to have as kids…!

LettuceWrap-8
LettuceWrap-5These things! Why were were not allowed to have them? Mom reasons. But I’m using them in this recipe! Made right here in our own Chinatown, these fried noodles are going to give my chicken lettuce cups the salty crunch to compliment the cold crisp lettuce and savoury chicken filling.

Ingredients:
3 cups of chicken thighs – roughly 1 pound (diced)
1/3 cup water chestnuts (diced)
1/3 cup shiitake mushrooms (diced)
2 stalks green onion (finely sliced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 small onion (diced)
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Sesame seeds to garnish
Sliced fresh red chili pepper (optional)
Orange fried noodles (optional)
Hoisin sauce for dipping.


Marinade:
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon water

LettuceWrapIn a bowl, mix chicken and the marinade and set aside for 10 minutes as you prepare the lettuce.

LettuceWrap-3Have you ever tried peeling lettuce cups only to have them rip and frustrate you? Here’s my solution for actual cups that won’t leave your next “lettuce cup” meal in shreds. Chop the stem off the bottom of your lettuce head and place it in a bowl upside down. Run COLD water down the middle for a couple of minutes. You can also gently pull the leaves to help it along.

LettuceWrap-2As you do this, the lettuce will start to swell and since there is no stem to keep the leaves together, they will naturally separate. This is also a great way to revive wilted iceberg lettuce.

LettuceWrap-4After a couple of minutes, pull the core out of the lettuce and remove your perfect lettuce cups. You’re welcome.

LettuceWrap-6As your lettuce cups and drying off, heat oil in your wok (or skillet) and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic, chicken, mushrooms, water chestnuts, scallions and optional chili and cook until the chicken is done. Spoon out and serve.

LettuceWrap-7Fill your lettuce cups and darnish with sesame seeds, fresh scallions and orange noodles.

LettuceWrap-10Alternatively, this dish is also great with a side of rice.

This recipe is ridiculously simple. Ideal for a quick weekday meal or snack, it’s also perfect for warm summer nights when you don’t really feel like cooking. I used chicken thighs in for this recipe, but you can surely substitute chopped chicken breast or ground chicken or turkey. This dish is also a great low-carb dinner idea (oh, my God, I can’t believe I just said that).

Let me know if how it turns out!

Having trouble finding a particular ingredient? Check out my Asian grocery store round up to find a market near you!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Recipe
Recipe Type: Light Meal
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Jason Lee
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This recipe is ridiculously simple. Ideal for a quick weekday meal or snack, it’s also perfect for warm summer nights when you don’t really feel like cooking. I used chicken thighs in for this recipe, but you can surely substitute chopped chicken breast or ground chicken or turkey. This dish is also a great low-carb dinner idea (oh, my God, I can’t believe I just said that).
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of chicken thighs – roughly 1 pound (diced)
  • 1/3 cup water chestnuts (diced)
  • 1/3 cup shiitake mushrooms (diced)
  • 2 stalks green onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Sesame seeds to garnish
  • Sliced fresh red chili pepper (optional)
  • Orange fried noodles (optional)
  • Hoisin sauce for dipping.
  • Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix chicken and the marinade and set aside for 10 minutes as you prepare the lettuce.
  2. Chop the stem off the bottom of your lettuce head and place it in a bowl upside down. Run COLD water down the middle for a couple of minutes. After a couple of minutes, pull the core out of the lettuce and remove your perfect lettuce cups. You’re welcome.
  3. As your lettuce cups and drying off, heat oil in your wok (or skillet) and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic, chicken, mushrooms, water chestnuts, scallions and optional chili and cook until the chicken is done. Spoon out and serve.
  4. Fill your lettuce cups and darnish with sesame seeds, fresh scallions and orange noodles.
  5. Remain sexy

 

Leave a Comment

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

lagatta à montréal May 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Oh yum! A lot of somewhat wilted greens, lettuces but also the huge cabbage family, respond well to this treatment.

At Jean-Talon Market, a lady (not Asian at all) sells wonderful “flat cabbages”. those really tender and mild ones that can be eaten like lettuce, but have a little more heft and personality. No, after our horrible winter, they aren’t there yet. They will be.

Eating those fried noodles makes one a proper locavore. I get them at Marché Oriental, St-Denis, just south of Jean-Talon.

Reply

Jason May 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I’m not a big fan of cabbage other than kimchi. 🙂 Those fried noodles are amazing and know now why we weren’t allowed to have them when we were young.

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