Tuesday, May 20, 2008

.lettuce wraps.

I know my friend, Heidi, won't like this recipe because she got sick on lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs way back when. Me on the other hand.. LOVE THEM!

I was at Chili's last week having lunch with my girlfriends and I had some lettuce wraps. I thought it might be fun to find a recipe and make them for my family.

This is kind of a mock up of the Chili's recipe. I added and changed a few things and I must say the results were awesome. This is a spicy dish. If you can't tolerate spice, omit the chili oil and red pepper flakes. I didn't think it would be as hot as it was, but after taking a few bites, I took the plate away from my daughter and let her have chicken nuggets.

This dish might seem time consuming. The sauces can be made the day before and then heated up prior to serving. It took me about an hour and half from start to finish.
Let's start with our sauces.

Make them all at the same time. Put three saucepans in front of you. In the first one, we're going to make the Stir Fry Sauce.

In a small bowl, put 1/4 cup cold water and 1 tsp cornstarch. Mix well with a fork.

In the saucepan put:
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/3 c. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chili oil
1/2 tsp grated ginger

For the ginger, prep a bunch of it so you don't have to keep grating it.
Just peel some fresh gingerroot and use the fine grate. I love fresh ginger. The flavor is out of this world!
Put the saucepan on the stove and heat over medium. Bring to a boil and add the water/cornstarch. Let reduce down until a little thick. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Chop a little parsley. Put in saucepan #2.
We're going to make the Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce now.
Using the same bowl you made the water/cornstarch. Do it again. Put 1/4 c. water and 1 tsp cornstarch in the bowl. Mix well using a fork.

In the saucepan you put the parsley, add:
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 dash red pepper flakes

Put this pan on the stove and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil and add the water/cornstarch. Mix while it boils and it will thicken. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Now for the final sauce. Peanut Dipping Sauce.

In saucepan #3, put:
1/2 c. peanut butter (creamy)
1/3 c. water
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Put on the stove over medium heat. Let it cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

These are water chestnuts. They are yummy and crunchy. They'll add a nice contrast in texture.
Drain the water from the can. We need 1/4 cup chopped up. Put in a small bowl or on a plate. We'll need them when it comes time to fry.

Cutting on a diagonal, cut 6 green onion. The asian countries sure like their veggies pretty in their food. You could cut these straight, but why? Might as well have some fun with it! :D

See what I mean? They look so pretty even sitting in a bowl!
Put these in a bowl or on the same plate as the water chestnuts.

I forgot to take a picture of this step, but chop up some cilantro. (about 1/4 cup)
Put that on the plate or in its own bowl.

Cut up three boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You don't want the pieces too big otherwise they'll be too big for the lettuce leaves.

Grate 2 carrots. If you want, buy the pre-shredded carrots at the store. It'll save you a few minutes from peeling and grating by hand.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat.

Add the chicken and stir to cook all the sides.

When all the sides are just barely white, add half of the stir fry sauce. Stir to coat the chicken.

Add the water chestnuts. Cook with the chicken for 5 minutes. At this time, add the rest of the stir fry sauce.

Add the green onion. Mix in and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the cilantro.

Now add 1/4 c. peanuts. Toss everything together.

Keep cooking this for another couple minutes until the liquid has become slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.

If you made your sauces the day before, pull them out of the fridge and heat in the microwave for a minute. Put them in serving bowls.

On your plates, put Bibb lettuce leaves in a fan-like fashion to one side. It's all about drama folks. Let's make our food pretty!

Put a handful of carrots on the plate and spread out on the other side. Spoon some of the chicken on top of the carrots. Serve immediately!


jennifersmn said...

OMG....again....how am Im gonna have time to cook all these awesome dishes of yours?!?!?

Anonymous said...

You're right..I can't stomach the lettuce wraps. We went with some friends a few months back and I tried the veggie lettuce wraps, they had already ordered them for me before we arrived :(, anyway...when we got home that night, same scenario! Yup, I was sick. Oh, well. You're recipe looks INCREDIBLE, though.

doris sander said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmman! they look super YUm! :D

Jen Martakis said...

Yummy! Love your blog!

Darleen said...

i think that i am going to give this one a whirl. Mark LOVES lettuce wraps. Did you know that WM sells the lettuce ready to go for wraps??? Its crazy.

Twisted Chicken said...

Great recipe! I will definitely be trying this soon. Maybe this weekend at my Girls Night Sleepover with my sisters...to me lettuce wraps are 'Chick Food'. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

I don't like cilantro AT. ALL. Should I leave it out or substitute something else for it?

Thanks for an awesome blog!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I made this tonight for dinner and OMG! It was fabulous!! Making the sauces was a bit time consuming, but oh, so worth it! I will definitely make this again! Thanks for a great recipe. I love your blog!

Nancy said...

Question Suzanne, are the peanuts raw or roasted?