One of the most popular appetizers – or starters – in today’s Asian food restaurants is Lettuce Wraps. Similar in concept to the taco, wonderfully, tasty meat or chicken and finely chopped vegetables with Asian flavors tucks into crisp lettuce leaves giving the mouth different levels of both taste and texture.
Perhaps started by the “carb” diets, one or two stuffed leaves make a great beginning; have 3 or 4 or more, they are a healthy entrée. Easy to make at home, the trick is to have everything “prepped” because the assembly is quick.
Enjoy with a crisp, white wine or Chinese beer.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
- 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce (low sodium is OK)
- 1-1/2 tsp. dark brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. hot chili sauce
- 1-3/4 tsp. sesame oil, divided
- 1 Tbsp. canola or peanut oil
- 3 green onions, chopped *
- 1 tsp. garlic, chopped *
- 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped *
- 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped *
- 16 oz. grilled or roasted chicken breast strips, chopped *
- 1/2 large head iceberg lettuce, cored; leaves separated (or 8 large leaves)
* Chopped vegetables and chicken should all be finely chopped, everything as close to the same size as possible.
In a small bowl, combine hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce and 1/4 tsp. sesame oil. Mix well (be sure sugar completely dissolves).
Heat canola oil and 1-1/2 tsp. sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add green onions, garlic, and ginger and cook about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook about 2 minutes more until chicken is heated through. Add the sauce to the skillet, tossing to coat.
Spoon mixture into 8 lettuce leaves. Serves 4.