Last weekend was the Chinese New Year, and thus I was inspired to find something fitting for the occasion. Having never tried to make Chicken Lettuce Wraps, but being an avid fan of the dish, thought it was about time. It’s important to be adventurous, right? 🙂
This recipe was actually VERY easy, and I found it using a new app I downloaded on my phone! The only difficult ingredients were the water chestnuts and hoisin sauce, which I was able to get at an asian supermarket. The app is called “Epicurious,” and is great for finding new and exciting dishes to make. They also have great recommendations for cocktails and snacks! (WIN!) Here is the link: Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
First, start by preparing your ingredients. I recommend peeling and slicing the water chestnuts and mincing the chicken ahead of time so as to avoid burning things by trying to take the time later.
First, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, sugar, and hoisin sauce in a small bowl. Whisk it together with a fork to dissolve the sugar into the mixture.
Look at my lovely compilation of ingredients on my lovely (faux) granite countertops! 🙂
Then start dicing the mushrooms and onions. I wanted to add some red pepper (for a sweet addition), so I also prepared that. Hint: dice it all quite small, as it will make it easier to eat later in the lettuce wraps! Also, if you are like me and love onions, add a little more! Sauté the vegetables in about 1-2 tablespoons of oil for a few minutes on medium heat (only enough to cook it partially).
Let me just take a moment to geek out and mention how much I loved diced vegetables. They are so colorful and crisp and delicious and make you love your food even more. 🙂
Once you have cooked the vegetables for a few minutes, transfer them to a plate and put aside. Be careful not to burn your plate!
Now, add another 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet, as well as the minced chicken. Be sure to mix the chicken around, cooking it evenly and creating a nice brown color to it.
Once the chicken is maybe halfway cooked, add the vegetables back in. Also, add the sauce mixture you made originally. Turn down the heat so as to keep the sauce from burning. Turning the heat down will also keep the chicken from getting tough and chewy.
While the chicken is cooking, start preparing your iceberg lettuce. I HIGHLY recommend that you pick a head of lettuce that has crisper, stronger leaves. If they aren’t crisp and thick, your chicken will weigh it down and get EVERYWHERE! (Trust me, I speak from experience tonight).
Also, start chopping some cashews in half. This is easily done, and is essential to the deliciousness of your dish. If you are allergic, try another nut, such as peanuts. If nuts aren’t your thing in general, I’m so sorry.
Finally, turn the chicken mix off and start spooning it into your lettuce leaves. Drizzle the cashews on top, and prepare for delicious goodness! Warning, it tends to get messy, so wear a bib or your least favorite shirt. Or use a napkin.