We all learned that old adage “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” So, I really need to apologize. I said something that wasn’t nice and I’ve been repenting since. Last week, I said lettuce was overrated. And though I was only sharing my truth, I want to take the time to highlight when lettuce shines. It’s the crunch in my turkey sandwich, it’s the reason I can fit into my skinny jeans when I need to, and it can be the perfect vehicle to eat these P.F. Chang style chicken lettuce wraps.
Recipe: Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Adapted from www.grouprecipes.com)
16 Boston, bibb or butter lettuce leaves
1 pound ground chicken breast (ground turkey is fine too)
1 large onion — chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons Asian chili pepper sauce (I use Srirachi, but see note below if u don’t have)
1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts — drained, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions — thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain.
Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up the meat. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown. Add water chestnuts, pine nuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
Stir in sesame oil. Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Spoon meat mixture in center. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco.
Note: Asian chili pepper sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Some brands contain garlic, which is fine. You can use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes instead.