Yum. Can I just say that? Yum, yum, yum. I love asian-inspired foods and Thai is one of my favorite cuisines! I like spicy, but only when it's also packed with flavor. If it's too spicy to taste or to enjoy, then it's too spicy for me. Generally speaking I'm a fan of things savory and salty or sweet with a little spicy. I like Sesame Chicken and Peking Chicken over Sweet and Sour or Orange Chicken. I just like that little kick. That said, these chicken lettuce wraps were perfect - not too spicy for my three-year-old, but just enough kick to make them addictive! They were fresh and crispy and my husband was a big fan too, so this was a win, win, win!
The original recipe came from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats and I am often a big fan of her recipes! You can also link to her original post through my Pinterest page.
Of course I tweaked, but only ever so slightly! I wasn't sure about buying the ground chicken since I knew I had shredded chicken already cooked, but I wasn't sure it would be the same if I didn't cook the chicken in the seasonings and spices included in the recipe. So, I went ahead and bought the ground chicken and now that I've made it, I wouldn't do it any differently. These were FANTASTIC!
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 lb ground chicken breast
1 medium onion, minced
dash of salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 inch nob fresh ginger, peeled and shredded (I keep a ginger root in the freezer and just pull it out when I need some)
1 T sesame oil
2 1/2 T soy sauce
1/2 T water
1 T natural peanut butter
1/2 T honey
1 T + 1 tsp rice vinegar
1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce (like Sriracha)
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 c broccoli slaw (this was one of my additions because I like to pack in as many veggies as possible)
1 c matchstick carrots (this was another addition because I like to pack in as many veggies as possible)
1/2 c chopped fresh spinach or chard
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/4 c peanuts, chopped
10-12 large lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry (I used a head of boston lettuce and made smaller wraps, but you can also use big leaves of romaine or even iceberg)
1. Heat a large, non-stick skillet on high. Add chicken, onion, salt and pepper and cook until chicken is nearly done, stirring often to break up the meat. Add in minced garlic and ginger and continue cooking until no longer pink.
2. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and pepper. Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir until smooth. Add into the skillet and stir to combine. Move chicken to the side of the pan. Add carrots and broccoli slaw and stir fry until crisp-tender, but not mushy.
3. Add green onion, spinach,and water chestnuts into the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.
4. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and wrap in a cold lettuce leaf. *
Makes 8 small wraps or 4-5 large wraps.
Serving suggestion: Serve with sliced oranges. This could also be served with spinach salad with mandarin oranges, almonds and a creamy poppyseed dressing or a toasted sesame dressing.
* Since kids sometimes have trouble holding a wrap like this together, I actually rolled his in the lettuce leaf and then rolled the whole thing in a tortilla, tucking the one end in so it was closed, and that worked perfectly for him!
The first night that we had these, we had been working on building Gavin's playhouse and Gavin really wanted to have dinner up in the playhouse. So, I wrapped each lettuce wrap in foil and sliced up some juicy oranges and we had our dinner picnic style in the playhouse. These worked really well wrapped in foil and we will most likely do that again and bring them along for a picnic at the park someday too!
(this photo from Iowa Girl Eats)
IF YOU MAKE THESE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!!
Adapted from the original recipe found at: http://iowagirleats.com/2011/04/26/p-f-changs-lettuce-wraps-remade/