Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lettuce Wraps

So, I made these about a month or so ago and I haven't been able to get them out of my head.

Lettuce Wraps

I mean, what's better than tender chicken in a sweet-salty-vinegar-y sauce wrapped in lettuce with some fried mung bean threads and carrot matchsticks, right?

Look at this bird, it's like pornography...

Eat me...I'm sooo yummy

Anyways, I stole this as a copycat recipe for some I had at a restaurant with a friend. I'm not going to say which restaurant unless their corporate office calls me up and forces me to. Why, you ask? Because it's shameful...downright shameful. After having had it exactly as the recipe states, I'd definitely tone down the sugar in the sauces. 1/4 cup? My ass! And that's exactly where it goes too. So, I've decided that I'm only going to use about a tablespoon of sugar and I've altered the recipe to reflect that. Hey, I'm just looking out for your health, ok? I'd much prefer enjoying the flavors themselves, not some sugary processed-tasting crap that I can get out of a bottle anywhere. Eww. I'm sure you feel the same way.

It's a fairly time consuming recipe, especially if you're like me and prefer to make each sauce one-by-one. I think it's totally worth it though. It's not mentioned in the recipe, but if I were you I'd definitely go to the extra effort of deep frying some mung bean threads. It really adds a LOT in the way of texture. Also, I nearly doubled the amount of chicken used in the recipe. The sauce recipes make a lot of sauce. I just turned the skillet up on high and poured all the stir-fry sauce in, letting it cook down and get all syrupy, coating the chicken all nice and thick-like. God these are so delicious...

Lettuce Wraps

* 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon sesame oil
* 4 chicken breasts
* 4 scallions
* 1/4 cup minced water chestnuts
* 1/4 cup sliced almonds
* 1 - 2 heads bibb/boston/butter lettuce

Stir Fry Sauce
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 teaspoon cornstarch
* 1/3 cup soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 cup vinegar
* 1 tablespoon oil
* 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 teaspoon chili oil
* 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce
* 1/4 cup water
* 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/3 cup vinegar
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon minced ginger
* 1 teaspoon oil
* 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
* 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 dash red pepper flakes

Peanut Dipping Sauce
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1/3 cup water
* 2 tablespoons vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
* 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
* 1/2 teaspoon oil
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Stir-Fry Sauce

1. Combine water and cornstarch and stir until cornstarch is dissolved.

2. Add this to the other stir fry sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.

3. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer till thick.

Sesame-Ginger Dipping Sauce

4. Combine water and cornstarch into a slurry.

5. Combine the slurry with the other dipping sauce ingredients in small pan over medium heat.

6. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

7. Combine ingredients in a pan over medium low heat.

8. Heat while whisking until sauce becomes smooth.

9. Remove from heat when done.

Chicken Filling

10. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

11. Cook chicken breasts until done, turning every couple of minutes Remove to a cutting board and slice it into strips with a sharp knife.

12. Keep the pan hot.

13. Put chicken back in the same pan over medium/high heat, and add water chestnuts.

14. Heat for 1 minute.

15. Add 5 Tbsp of stir fry sauce to the chicken and heat for 2 minutes, stirring often.

16. The sauce should be bubbly.

17. Add the sliced green onions and stir.

18. The chicken is done.

19. Spoon on to lettuce.

20. Serve with the dipping sauces on the side.

1 comment:

Lore said...

First, love the vivid colours in the first photo!!!. Second, even if it's a long list of ingredients I'm sure it was totally worth it. And third, you're right about the sugar. Who would miss these flavours just to get an extra ass fat?! :)