I decided to be adventurous today and attempt to make Asian Lettuce Wraps. I had NO idea what was involved until I looked up the recipe... there's a WHOLE lot of stuff!
2 t vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, peeled then minced
1 lb chicken, chopped (about 2-3 boneless, skinless breasts)
3/4 C mushrooms, minced
1/2 t salt
4 C cabbage, chopped (about 1/2 a head)
8oz can water chestnuts, minced
1/2 C green onions, minced
1/4 C soy sauce
2 t sesame oil
1 lemon, zested
1 t hot sauce
1/3 C cilantro, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce
I had a heyday at the store trying to find everything on that list. I NEVER knew what fresh ginger was. I actually had to have someone point it out to me at the store. It's one nasty ugly looking root! I should have taken a picture... Sorry I didn't!
As you can see... pretty much EVERYTHING needs to be minced. I am SO glad I have my little Pampered Chef chopper thingy.
Here's everything I chopped up (there are two to three different things mixed in some of the bowls).. plus Kyle cutting chicken in the background..
I don't know why I didn't take very many pictures tonight! But anyway... after you brutally chopped everything to pieces you heat up a large skillet. Seriously, a super large one, this makes a TON. Put in vegetable oil and when it’s hot add minced garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute just until it’s fragrant and then add in the chicken, mushrooms, and salt. Cook until chicken is cooked through.
Then add in the cabbage, water chestnuts, and green onions. Cook for a few minutes until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil, zest from the lemon, and hot sauce. When everything is cooked through, remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
To serve, carefully separate the whole leaves from the lettuce. This was an amazingly difficult task!! Wash and keep them in the fridge beforehand so they’re nice and cold. Spoon chicken filling onto the lettuce leaf.
TIPS: I pretty much bought everything fresh. If you want to save some mincing time, buy some canned mushrooms.. actually.. that might be the only canned thing you can buy.
Next tip... chop your cabbage MUCH more fine than I did. A blender probably would have worked.
Another tip.. I think it called for too much cilantro and not enough water chestnuts! Just something to think about :)
And my last tip.. they are MESSY. I ate mine over my rice so that when it dripped my rice had some good flavoring :) hah
EDITS: I didn't buy any sesame oil. It's was like $9 for a small bottle! But the lettuce wraps were missing a flavor.. and I think it was the nutty taste the sesame oil gives.
Next edit.. I bought TWO heads of lettuce thinking 1 wouldn't be enough. Well.. 1 worked out perfectly fine. Plus I have a ton of other veggie left overs since it only asked for less than a cup of each thing pretty much.
Anyway.. it didn't quite taste or look like PF Chang's, but it was still super yummy!