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These delicious chicken lettuce wraps are fresh, exciting and full of intense and spicy flavors from soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. A terrific appetizer or even main course that’s fast and easy to make.
This is a recipe I’ve been making for years and it’s an adaptation from America’s Test Kitchen. I love everything about it, it’s savory, a little bit spicy, very satisfying and takes little effort to put together. Plus, apart from the vegetables and the chicken breast, it’s made purely with regular pantry ingredients.
You can serve these wraps as an appetizer but they are pretty filling so I find that they also make a great main course.
How to make chicken lettuce wraps:
This recipe starts with one large boneless, skinless chicken breast. Simply cut it into 2-inch cubes and pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes to make it easier to process.
Next, you grind the chicken in the food processor. It will only take a few pulses to do that.
Once the chicken is prepped, you make a marinade. It’s quite simple but really packs a punch as far as flavor goes.
You mix together 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon corn starch. (The corn starch helps to keep the meat tender during the frying process later, a technique called velveting.)
Mix the ground chicken into the marinade and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating you can finish the prep work for the sauce:
Whisk together 1/4 cup sake, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 minced or pressed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil,1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon corn starch (to thicken the sauce) and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
For the vegetable prep, you chop up 5 shiitake mushrooms, 4 green onions and 1 celery stalk.
That’s all for the prep work, now you’re ready to cook: drain the chicken from the marinade, then heat a bit of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chicken.
Take the chicken out of the pan, then fry the vegetables (no need to clean the pan in between). Add the chicken back in, then pour in the sauce and cook until it starts to thicken (this will take just a minute).
How to eat chicken lettuce wraps:
Spoon the filling into fresh lettuce leaves, drizzle with a bit of hoisin sauce and eat with your fingers.
Are chicken lettuce wraps gluten free?
No, both the soy sauce and the hoisin sauce in this recipe contain wheat flour.
What goes with chicken lettuce wraps?
Chicken lettuce wraps make a terrific appetizer and work great with this Chicken Noodle Stir Fry.
More delicious light chicken dishes:
- Mediterranean Chicken Salad
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
- Sumac Chicken Brown Butter Almond Rice Bowl
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
For the marinade:
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup sake
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 5 medium–large shiitake mushrooms
- 4 green onions
- 1 celery stalk
- vegetable oil for frying
- hoisin sauce
For the marinade:
- Cut the chicken into 2-inch cubes and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes (this will make it easier to process).
- Grind the chicken in the food processor, set aside.
- Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, oil and corn starch together in a bowl large enough to hold the processed chicken.
- Mix the chicken into the marinade and put in the fridge for 10 minutes.
For the sauce:
- Whisk sake, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, oil, sesame seeds, corn starch and pepper flakes together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Dice the shiitake mushrooms, the green onions and the celery stalk. Set aside.
- Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan on high heat.
- Drain the chicken out of the marinade and fry it in the oil until it is cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add more oil to the pan and fry mushrooms, green onions and celery until they start to soften.
- Add the chicken back into the pan, then add the sauce and cook until it thickens and turns translucent.
- Fill the lettuce leaves with the chicken mixture.
- Drizzle with hoisin sauce and eat with your fingers.
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