I found this fabulous recipe while blog hopping. I HAD to make it. This recipe is simple, and when I made it for friends, one even wanted to make it for her own family. I consider that a success. THEN, her husband wanted her to make it for the extended family. Double success. THEN, the night she made it for the extended family party, someone else in the family brought chicken lettuce wraps from a restaurant (dun, dun, dun...), but everyone said these tasted better. WHOOHOO!
Thanks to Rachelle at Fashionably Foodie, Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps have had a huge success in several families now.
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
by Rachelle, at Fashionably Foodie
3 frozen chicken breasts
1 large carrot
8 whole mushrooms
3 green onions
1 red bell pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can water chestnuts, drained
2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 head iceberg or butter lettuce, leaves washed and separated (leave each leaf whole)
rice noodles, fried quickly in hot oil (optional)
sauce: *(double the recipe for dipping sauce, set aside half, see notes below)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (asian chile sauce***)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
bring chicken breasts to a boil in water to cover with a pinch of salt and a clove of garlic. boil for ten minutes. remove from water and chop finely, about the size of a kernel of corn. (Or as close as you can get to that size).
While cooking the chicken, finely grate carrot. finely dice onion , water chestnuts, mushrooms and bell pepper to the same size as the chicken pieces, about the size of a kernel of corn. (the easiest way to do this is with a food chopper, or pulse on a food processor, just don't completely disintegrate your food). The hand chopping process takes a while.
*Whisk together sauce ingredients. If you want a dip for your wraps (yes you will want a dip,) make another batch (or double) sauce, and to the dipping sauce add: a bit more sriracha, 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger.
Heat 2 Tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil in a large pan. add onions, mushrooms and red bell pepper. cook 2 minutes to soften. add chicken, water chestnuts, and garlic. saute for 2 minutes. add sauce to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until liquid is reduced and there is almost no liquid left in pan. stir in grated carrot. Rachelle recommends serving on bed of rice noodles with a plate of whole lettuce leaves. She adds that it's "yummy with veggie peanut noodles or hot rice!"
Rachelle said, "the only ingredient i really insist on is the sesame oil for authentic flavor. so sorry i promised no store for you, but if you don't have any, i really insist that you must use sesame oil!" So you must obey. I actually didn't have sesame oil, and didn't have time to buy any, and so I used some tahini (sesame paste, which actually has the oil in it) so I figured I was ok.
*** Sriracha is asian chile sauce it is in a clear bottle that looks red from the bright red sauce. it has a green twist lid.
1. This was awesome and can work as a main course, lunch, side dish...whatever you want!
2. I didn't have water chesnuts or mushrooms when I did this, but I added finely chopped celery and it worked well.
3. I recommend using a low sodium soy sauce to avoid the dish becoming too salty.
4. I don't believe in iceberg lettuce, sorry. You can use it if you like, but I prefer romaine.
5. This was awesome (did I say that already?) and Rachelle made it up! I recommend Fashionably Foodie to anyone.