Chicken lettuce wraps exploded as a popular appetizer/entree mostly because of P.F. Changs. They are delicious and healthy, or at least you would think. Check out the nutritional facts on PF’s version and you’ll be shocked at the sodium content. I made these a few years ago for my cousin’s wedding shower and recreated them again this week for a healthy weeknight meal. They are spicy, crunchy, tasty pockets of flavor. My recipe uses a lot of ingredients but feel free to pick and choose based on your own personal preferences. I also didn’t include peanuts which you will often find in this dish (as I don’t like nuts in my food).
-1 lb. Fresh ground chicken (I buy organic cage free chicken)
-1/2 package shiitake or bella mushrooms, chopped fine
-2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
-3 scallions, chopped fine
-1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
-2 celery stalks, diced
– small can watercress (adds a nice crunch but optional)
-Hoison sauce (few tablespoons depending on your taste)
-Sriracha sauce (1-2 tablespoons depending on how hot you like it. I love it spicy!)
-Few dashes sesame oil for frying
-Rice wine (about 1/4 cup)
-Few dashes soy sauce
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1 teaspoon paprika
-Fresh cilantro for topping (I didn’t have any)
Wash your lettuce well and select the leaves that will be good for cups. Set aside in the fridge with a paper towel on top. This will get your lettuce nice and crisp for when you are ready to eat. Place any pieces too small for cups in a large plastic bag with a paper towel for use at a later time.
Put a wok on medium-high heat with sesame oil. Add your chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms, and scallions.
Add your ground chicken to the center of the pan. Break it up using your spoon and let brown.
Add Hoison sauce and mix well. Then add Sriracha, soy sauce and let everything cook for 3-4 minutes. Add cumin, paprika and cayenne. Then add rice wine and let the liquid reduce.
Add fresh grated ginger. This will brighten up all the flavors and it smells incredible. You can’t replace fresh grated ginger.
When you are almost ready to eat add your celery to the pan and turn the heat to low. I like to add it at the end so it retains a nice crunch in the lettuce wrap.
Add fresh cilantro if you have it (I forgot it at the store) and enjoy a nice cup of sake!