I was inspired by Epicurious Brit’s Lettuce Eat Healthy post from last week, and decided to create a similar version of her chicken lettuce wraps for dinner tonight. I followed Epicurious Brit’s recipe pretty closely, but made a few slight alterations. You will find that this is an easy recipe to adapt based on what you have on hand, and how spicy you want it to be.
Joining me for dinner tonight is my friend (who will be known as Candy Addict from this point forth) who is staying with me this week while she interviews for residency. As a medical student, Candy Addict typically lives on a diet of EasyMac (which I found out she brings with her on interview trips!), gummy worms, Pringles, cereal, frozen pizza… anything that doesn’t require actual cooking. So she was thrilled to be enjoying a home cooked, healthy meal tonight. Between her mumblings of “it’s so good, it’s so good” we each feasted on three delicious lettuce wraps.
Asian Flavored Chicken Lettuce Wraps (serves 2-3)
- 1 TB olive oil
- 6 large crimini mushrooms (brown caps), sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground chicken thigh (more flavor than breast)
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TB ginger, minced
- 1 TB shallots, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup water, room-temperature
- 2 TB low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 TB rice wine vinegar
- 1 TB ponzu sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 6 (or more) large leaves of butter lettuce
- 1/2 cup chopped or ground peanuts
- Sriracha or red chili paste, served on the side
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, ponzu, sesame oil and sugar and stir to combine – set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper and chili pepper and sauté for about three minutes. Add the chicken and continue to sauté for 5 minutes, or until slightly browned.
Add scallions, garlic, ginger and shallots and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the water and the bowl of sauces and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes or until the sauces reduce slightly. Transfer to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Serve with butter lettuce, peanuts and Sriracha.
To wrap the chicken, put a spoonful into the middle of the butter lettuce. Fold the stem part of the butter lettuce into the chicken, and pull each side in to create a wrap. It’s messy, but delicious and crunchy!
I again chose to opt out on the wine tonight, but this dish would pair well with a dry Riesling or Viognier. These crisp, fruity wines pair well with Asian flavors and help to balance spiciness. I would recommend Trefethen’s Dry Riesling, or Freemark Abbey’s Viognier.
Special thanks to Epicurious Brit for the healthy recipe, and to Candy Addict for helping me eat it!