We recently got back from our vacation to Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina (Post coming soon—yours truly is still navigating the 3,000 plus photos she took!). After gorging ourselves on our week of vacation, we are now on a self-imposed diet. We are attempting to hold each other accountable.
I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that we both have a lot of the same tendencies and cravings. We both crave SUGAR nearly all the time. We both ALWAYS want ice cream, no matter the time of day or circumstances. It’s gotten to the point where we don’t keep ice cream in the house, because well, we’re not great at regulating ourselves. We don’t want some of the ice cream; we want all of the ice cream! It’s our Achilles heal (along with a laundry list of other sugary-things), and it nearly takes a Greek god’s willpower to stay away from it. Anyway, this recipe is one of our attempts at eating healthy.
I made this recipe in a wok that had been my grandfather’s. When my aunt gave me this wok a couple years ago, it had been in storage for years and was covered in thick layers of dust. I cleaned it thoroughly, and now it shines and works like a charm. It’s amazing and heats up in seconds.
I love the combined flavor of hoisin, teriyaki, and soy. Add in some fresh ginger and it makes any Asian meal better. But if you don’t have fresh ginger, you can also use ground ginger.
For the lettuce wraps, I used what I had on hand, which happened to be red-leafed lettuce. The oblong shape of the red-leaf lettuce makes it a little awkward for eating, but it still held together pretty well. (This is a messy recipe no matter what kind of lettuce you use.) I would recommend using bibb or butter lettuce as those leaves are more circular, heartier, and easier to handle. I also doubled the recipe so we would have leftovers. Enjoy!
chicken lettuce wraps
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil, divided
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 pound ground chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce (to taste, optional)
1 head bibb or butter lettuce, separated into leaves
2 small green onions, sliced
In a mixing bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chopped ginger, cornstarch, and sriracha/chili garlic sauce; whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a wok or skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Add the mushrooms, and cook until golden brown and softened (about 5 minutes). If using a wok, move the mushrooms to the sides of the wok, ensuring they are not on the hot plate of the wok. If using a skillet, transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside. Add 1 more tablespoon of sesame oil to the wok/skillet and add the chicken cooking until done, about 4-5 minutes; crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain fat, if needed. Add the minced garlic and stir. Add the mushrooms back into the wok/skillet and sprinkle in the basil leaves. Stir to combine.
Pour sauce over the chicken mixture and stir to coat evenly; cook until heated through and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Spoon into the leaves of butter lettuce. Top with sliced green onions.
(Adapted from http://www.frugallivingnw.com; Chicken Lettuce Wraps [PF Chang’s copycat recipe])