Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps are my life. I love the sweet and spicy filling. I love the tender crunch of the (hydroponically-grown) butterhead lettuce leaves. Need an exotic appetizer or main course that will make you and your guests swoon? This recipe is for you:
Oh. Before we get into the recipe, let me explain that Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps have been around for a very long time. I first encountered them at Shun Lee Palace in New York City. That was circa 1982, when I had a Mohawk haircut, dyed fire-engine red on top and jet-black on the sides. I worked for PolyGram Records at the time. And I sang in a punk band. Hence the hair color. And the attitude.
But why are you asking me about my past life as a cultural icon? Our mission today is lettuce leaves. And a chicken mixture that is so delicious you’ll want to shovel it into your mouth like there’s no tomorrow. Perhaps I should not project.
To watch People Magazine‘s Sexiest Man of the Year make Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, just click the “play” arrow above. Then scroll down for the printable recipe.
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- 3 tablespoons Hoisen sauce
- 3 tablespoons Tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sambal Olek
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced (or, use 4 teaspoons garlic paste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh, minced ginger
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 6 scallions, the white and green parts separated and finely sliced
- 2 cloves minced garlic (or 2 teaspoons garlic paste)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 lb mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup canned diced water chestnuts, drained
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
For the lettuce:
- 1 or 2 heads "butterhead" lettuce, the leaves separated, cleaned, and patted dry.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Warm 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground chicken and about 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Cook, while breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the chicken is brown and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Then add the scallion whites, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, water chestnuts and bell pepper. Saute until the mushrooms release their liquid -- about 5 minutes. Stir in the scallion greens, and saute for about 1 minute. Off heat, return the chicken and all of the remaining sauce to the skillet. Stir to combine. Spoon the mixture onto lettuce leaves.