Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

22 Mar

Being half-Sicilian, I’ve got Italian cooking down.  I don’t mean to brag or anything, but anyone who has grown up with her own Italian Nonna learned her way around a kitchen pretty early on in life.  Because of this, I’ve always wanted to try different cuisines whether out on the town or at home.  That’s what led me to want to try my hand at Asian flavors.  I love Chinese and Thai food, so I figured I would try to make something with an Asian flare at home.  Meet Asian Chicken lettuce wraps. There are two components to this recipe:  1) a homemade stir-fry sauce, and 2) the chicken wraps.  Let’s start with the sauce.

Ingredients for the stir fry sauce

The sauce is super simple to make.  Once you get all the ingredients in a bowl, mix it together, and then set it aside.  Can’t go wrong here.  And the cool thing is, you can use this sauce on beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, and veggies.

Now for the chicken wraps part.

Here's what you'll need.

I made a lot of food.  That comes with being Italian, too.  I don’t know how to just make a little bit of anything; I’m always prepared to feed an army.  You can cut the recipe in half if you want to.  No pressure.  One thing you want to be sure of is that when you dice the chicken, you dice it in teeny pieces.  Not only will it cook faster, but it will look cooler that way.  Half of the fun of cooking is how it looks anyway.  My pieces were a little too big, but they still tasted yummy.

Before being wrapped in lettuce.

When you brown the chicken, make sure to use canola oil, or any oil that doesn’t have a strong taste.  I usually use olive oil for everything, but you want the stir fry sauce to be the star of this show, not the oil.

Once you get all the kids in the pool, as Rachel Ray says, just let it go for a few minutes so all the flavors can mingle.

 

These chicken wraps are sweet, spicy, and super tasty.  Play around with the recipe, and make it into what you like.  That’s the fun part of cooking; you get to try new things, add ingredients, take out ingredients, and it all comes from love.  There’s nothing better than that.

Ingredients:

For the stir fry sauce:

4 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar (no sodium if possible)

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp sesame oil

For the chicken

4 chicken breasts, diced

1 head of lettuce (I used Boston lettuce)

2 c diced onion

3-4 minced garlic cloves, or 1-1/2 tsp of already chopped garlic

1-2 tsp soy sauce

1/4 -1/2 c chopped cashews  (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the stir fry sauce first by mixing all ingredients in a bowl, making sure to dissolve the brown sugar.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Add diced chicken and brown (about 5-6 minutes).
  3. Remove the chicken and drain any fat from the pan.  Add about another tablespoon of oil to the pan.  Add the onions, garlic, and soy sauce to the pan.  Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the onions are tender, add the stir fry sauce, chicken, and cashews (if using).  Saute mixture for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.  Spoon chicken mixture into individual lettuce leaves.
  6. Enjoy!
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