When you want a light supper, a quick and easy lunch, or a fun appetizer for a party, Chicken Lettuce Wraps is where it's at. Many of us have probably ordered these at a popular Chinese restaurant chain, but now you can make them at home any ol' time you wish!
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What kind of chicken to use to make Chicken Lettuce Wraps
I like to use both ground dark meat and white meat as I think it gives a much better flavor and is less dry. My grocery store used to grind their own, but since they've left off doing that, I can usually find packages in the case.
Which lettuce is best for Chicken Lettuce Wraps?
Lettuce wraps are usually served with iceberg lettuce leaves. I also like to use butter lettuce (also known as Boston Bibb). The butter lettuce leaves are quite tender and an absolute gift to the "greens" world! But they are still strong enough to hold up to the filling ... as long as you don't get too greedy and put too much filling in! I've also used romaine lettuce, but find the leaves a little awkward to fold and they tend to be too large as well. Pick your lettuce, though, and enjoy!
The seasonings are soy sauce (or gluten-free alternative such as tamari sauce or coconut aminos), rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili sauce (sambal oelek), and nut butter. Traditionally, it's peanut butter, but I usually use almond butter. After you mix all of that together with a little water, you pour it over the meat and let it cook down just a bit. And then you throw in some green onions and chopped peanuts at the end for a bit of crunch. Et voila! It's ready to eat.
I make a chili oil to drizzle on these, too ... a chili paste like sambal oelek, a chili and bean paste (ssamjang), sherry vinegar, and a neutral oil like avocado oil. So amazing! You could also make a hoisin-mustard sauce, thinned with a little rice vinegar so that it drizzles nicely and has a little tang.
I could make a whole meal out of these and have been known to do just that! However you choose to eat them is fine ... just do it!
Other recipes you might like:
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 1 pound ground dark chicken meat
- 1 onion diced small
- Salt & pepper go lighter on the salt than you might normally because of the soy sauce, but don't skimp if you are substituting coconut aminos because they are sweeter
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2- inch knob of ginger minced (I use a microplane for grating this … works beautifully.)
- 5 Tablespoons soy sauce or a gluten-free alternative such as gluten-free tamari sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 ½ Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter or substitute almond butter in case of allergies
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon chili sauce sambal oelek (or more if you want more heat)
- 6 green onions sliced thin
- 1 8- ounce can of sliced water chestnuts chopped
- ½ cup nuts chopped
- Butter lettuce leaves
For the Chili Oil, mix together:
- 1 Tablespoon fermented bean & chili paste ssamjang
- 1½ teaspoons sambal oelek or kochujang, a Korean chili paste
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup neutral oil such as avocado oil
For the Hoisin Mustard Sauce, mix together:
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce you CAN find gluten-free versions!
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
- Heat a large skillet on high heat. I don't recommend using Teflon skillets, so when using stainless steel or cast-iron, add a little coconut oil or avocado oil to the pan to keep the meat and onions from sticking. Add the chicken, onion, salt and pepper, and cook till nearly done, stirring often to break up the meat. Add garlic and ginger and continue cooking till the meat is no longer pink.
- In a small bowl, mix together the soy (or tamari or coconut aminos) sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, almond butter, water and chili sauce. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir till it is smooth. (You could do this in a small pot on the stovetop, too.) Add the mixture to the ground meat and stir to combine.
- Add the green onions and water chestnuts to the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the peanuts on top and serve with lettuce leaves.