halfway through july and I’m beginning to worry summer may pass us by this year in Seattle. i keep waiting for a sunny day — particularly one that merits firing up some coals on the barbecue. since that day has yet to arrive, we dabbled with recipes to conjure up a refreshing summer meal despite the rain.
we settled on chicken lettuce wraps, inspired by none other than the world-wide web. these turned out just as we’d hoped — light, refreshing, delicious.
of course what really makes these guys tasty is the ‘special’ sauce, a blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar, hot asian mustard, red chili paste, sesame oil, and ginger. what is great about this sauce is that each can spice up their own ramekin of sauce as desired. the chicken breasts are first pan seared and thereafter cooled for mincing.
the meat is minced with a mixture of onions, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and garlic — and then stir fried over medium high with a soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar sauce.
finally scoop a dollop of meat mixture into each iceberg lettuce leaf. load up with the sauce of your choice and fold it up like a taco. scrumptious!
alongside our lettuce wraps we indulged in a fresh asian chicken sesame salad (recipe below).
chicken lettuce wraps
2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast
oil for cooking
1 can water chestnuts – minced
1/2 c crimini mushrooms – minced
1/2 c yellow onion – chopped
2 garlic cloves
head of iceberg lettuce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp chili oil
2 tsp chili paste
hot mustard to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
pan sear the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side. allow to cool. while cooling, mince water chestnuts, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. set aside. once the chicken has cooled, mince the chicken and add to the other minced ingredients. combine 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of rice vinegar. this is your stir fry sauce, set aside.
put all special sauce ingredients except for the hot mustard and chili paste into the food processor. blend until combined. refrigerate until eating. add chili paste (2 tsp) and hot mustard to taste right before serving.
stir fry chicken mixture with soy mixture for 5-7 minutes on medium. while this is cooking, wash, clean, and separate your iceberg lettuce leaves. spread on a plate and serve alongside the meat mixture. add about 1/4 cup of meat mixture to each lettuce wrap, add sauce to taste, and enjoy!
asian chicken salad
1/2 package of chinese egg noodles
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp of minced jarred ginger (such as the ginger people’s minced ginger)
2 tbsp Sriracha or chili paste
1 c thinly sliced carrots
one pan seared chicken breast, sliced
1 cup diced green onions
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 c chicken broth
cook egg noodles according to packaging. during the last 2-3 minutes, add the carrots to the boiling water. drain and rinse under cold water. combined peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, srirarcha, and chicken broth in a food processor. blend until combined. add green onions, sauce, sesame seeds, and diced chicken to the pasta. cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. enjoy!