Two of my students' mom gave me a bag of lettuce she had grown in her garden. Fresh, organic, tender, and sweet green lettuce. I didn't want to waste it all on just a salad. I used some to wrap around my Gluten-Free Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Rolls).
Then, I rummaged around in my freezer and found a few frozen de-boned chicken thighs. Add a red bell pepper and a zucchini for some color, some water chestnuts for crunch, and this was a quick and easy meal. Or you could serve it as an appetizer if you so wish.
Chinese Lettuce Wraps with Chicken, Water Chestnuts, and Bell Peppers
For 2 servings as a meal or 4 servings as an appetizer, you'll need:
4 lettuce leaves, washed
2 de-boned chicken thighs or breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch by 2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 small zucchini, sliced into strips
1 8-oz can water chestnuts, drained and sliced into strips
3 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese hsiao xing rice wine or white wine
Pinch of sugar
Optional: In lieu of the simple marinade I used here, you can also use my Ultimate Stir-Fry Sauce.
Wash lettuce leaves. Set aside. I used green lettuce leaves because that's what I had on hand, but butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce would be better for cupping the stir-fry if you'd like to use those instead.
Wash and cut the chicken into strips. Set aside.
Wash and cut the bell pepper into strips. Set aside.
Wash and cut the water chestnuts into strips. I wanted to make the strips small so that the water chestnuts would add crunch without overpowering the other ingredients. So first slice the water chestnut in half lengthwise.
Then, slice again into strips in the other direction.
Similarly, slice the zucchini into strips as well.
OK, I know my stove looks totally disgusting. We'll just ignore how long it's been since I scrubbed it, shall we?
The chicken, bell pepper, water chestnuts, and zucchini were all cut into strips of somewhat similar size.
Turn the heat onto medium-high and add a drizzle of oil to your pan. Add the chicken only and add 3 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp Chinese rice wine, and a pinch of sugar. Stir-fry until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. This should only take a few minutes depending on the size of your meat and the hotness of your stove.
Then add the bell peppers, zucchini, and water chestnuts and stir-fry again until the veggies have softened to your liking. Taste and adjust if necessary. I find that soy sauce already has plenty of salt and the vegetables' sweetness doesn't require much else to contrast, but by all means, season according to your taste buds. Alternatively, if this simple marinade is too simple, you can also make this with my ultimate stir-fry sauce.
Place a generous spoonful of the stir-fry onto a lettuce leaf. Hmm. Not the best presentation, huh?
If you have floppy lettuce, place the lettuce onto a small, shallow bowl. Then, add the stir-fry on top.
Much better presentation, yeah?
My other wraps recipes:
Banh Tom (Vietnamese Shrimp and Yam Fritters)
Longan Chicken Radicchio Wraps
Mieng Kham (Thai Leaf-Wrapped Snack)
Peking Duck-Style Roast Turkey with Flour Wrappers, Scallions, Cucumbers, and Cranberry/Plum/Hoisin Sauce
1 year ago today, how to prepare sturgeon.
2 years ago today, tabbouleh cravings.
3 years ago today, Chinese Hot and Sour Soup.