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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Monday, January 23, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Healthy & Delicious!

If any Americans read this blog, you'd probably be surprised to discover that my husband and I had never been to PF Chang's until this year. I realize for many Americans this chain is not that interesting, but we went for happy hour on a recent vacation and fell in love with the appetizers and cocktails - especially at half price! (Happy Hour is another thing we don't have in Canada.)  We made a meal of various dumplings and their famous chicken lettuce wraps, which I had heard about but never tasted. 

So for our cleanse, I decided to to try to recreate the lettuce wraps at home since they are practically gluten-free. The hoisin sauce contains sweeteners, but I decided to try to ignore that fact.  The filling could be seasoned with other condiments if these ones don't fit a strict diet.

You'll need ground chicken, ginger, garlic, hot pepper, green onions, carrots, broccoli, snow peas (or other green veggies as desired), water chestnuts...

And for the sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, hot sauce and black pepper.

Plus, to serve, carrots, bean thread noodles and lettuce.

Mince the ginger and garlic and finely dice the hot pepper and white parts of the green onions.  

Add them to a large pan with the ground chicken and saute until the chicken is mostly cooked.  

Ground chicken can look quite unappetizing, but we're going to add some stuff to make it look and taste delicious.

Finely dice the carrots, broccoli, snow peas and green parts of the green onions.  Getting these chopped up nice an small is key to making the filling crunchy and delicious.

The other key is water chestnuts.  No matter how out of focus, these little guys will give an amazing crisp crunch to the filling. 

Add the diced veggies to the chicken and toss together for a short time to slightly cook the vegetables but leave them very crisp. 

Now for the sauce.  You could combine all these into a sauce and pour over the meat if you like extra dishes to clean. I just started adding them to the pan. Lots of hoisin and soy sauce and a little sesame oil, rice vinegar and hot sauce. Then you can adjust the taste as required.

While the meat and veggies are cooking, pour boiling water over the bean thread noodles to soften them up.

Drain the noodles and use a peeler to make some raw carrot strips to top the wraps. It is recommended to use Boston bibb lettuce leaves to wrap these up because the're nice and sturdy. I couldn't find bibb and had to substitute leaf lettuce. It didn't hold the filling as well, but still tasted delicious. 

Lay some noodles on the lettuce leaf as well as some carrots, then add the filling. Wrap it up and enjoy!

I chopped up the leftover noodles and added them to the leftover filling for lunch the next day, although the lettuce leaves caused a bit of a mess, it was still delicious.  This will be a regular meal at our place even when we're not "cleansing".

1 comment:

  1. Thumbs up to it being a regular meal! Thumbs down to my not being able to stop eating it. :)