Lettuce wraps are a wonderful, simple and fun way to enjoy the delicious flavor of Chinese cuisine. Made popular by Chinese restaurants here in America, this dish uses lettuce leaves as wrappers, just like a tortilla, to hold various stir fried meats ranging from shrimp to beef. The meat is chopped into tiny pieces, flavored with different Chinese sauces and spices, and sometimes even mixed with water chestnuts or cashews. It is then served in a lettuce leaf cup and eaten by wrapping the lettuce around the meat, and dipping it in a sauce. The most popular of these wraps of course is the chicken lettuce wrap. Below is my version of this delicious, fun to eat favorite! Enjoy!
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 Bibb (Boston) lettuce leaves
8oz can diced water chestnuts
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tsp ginger
2 green onions
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 ½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
- Start by cutting all the fat off of each chicken breast. Dice each one into tiny pieces, about 1/8 of an inch square.
- In a large plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid, mix together 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of ginger. Add the chicken, stir to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, wash and dice the green onions. The diced onions should equal about 1/3 of a cup. Set these aside. They will be added to the chicken towards the end of the cooking process to keep their flavorful crunchiness.
- Next, wash and dry the lettuce leaves. Here I use Bibb or what some would call Boston lettuce, but almost any type of lettuce can be used. I find the Bibb lettuce to be the easiest to roll the meat up in when eating this dish. To wash the leaves simply run them under cold water. Dry them by shaking off all of the excess water, then wipe them with an absorbent paper towel. I love the Viva paper towels. For me they work wonders in the kitchen!
- Once the chicken is marinated, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large non stick pan on high. Add the chicken and cook for about 8 minutes or until brown.
- Add the water chestnuts, the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy, 2 tablespoons of teriyaki, the remaining teaspoon of ginger, and a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar. Stir until the chicken and water chestnuts are coated and cook for about 5 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the scallions and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and toss.
- Place a lettuce cup on each plate and fill each with the mixture. These lettuce wraps are wonderful served with a soy ginger sauce and a side of fried rice. Serves 8.