chicken lettuce wraps 2.0

a few of my friends and i are concentrating on getting healthy this summer, not just healthy bodies but healthy minds too.  we’ve dubbed it our summer of wellness.  my goals for this summer are to work out regularly, make healthier food choices, and do some summer reading on positive thinking.  i’m hoping all of these things will help me be a healthier and happier me.

one of the dishes my friend makes often is lettuce wraps and last week she was telling me about them and it reminded me of the chicken lettuce wraps i made a while ago.  well i wanted to try a version that is close to the lettuce wraps i ate while i was going up.  we got them from a local vietnamese restaurant and they were just amazing.  super flavorful and i loved the freshness the lettuce added.  i am happy to report that these chicken lettuce wraps are incredibly close the ones i enjoyed at home.  yippee!

these lettuce wraps are filled with ground chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and water chestnuts coated in a soy/hoisin sauce that is just divine.  i love that even though they are low carb, they do not lack in flavor.  plus they keep me full – i have 3-4 for dinner and i’m good to go!  but you could also serve this as a healthy appetizer option too (1-2 would be a perfect serving).

i had a few chicken breasts and thighs in my freezer so i decided to use that instead of buying ground chicken.  i just cut it up into smaller pieces…

and then used my food process to mince up the meat.  doesn’t look too pretty but it’ll be just fine once you cook it all up.

now for the shiitake mushrooms, i couldn’t find fresh ones in my grocery store so i picked up a container of these dried ones.

i just followed the instructions on the pack to rehydrate them.  for these i boiled them for about 4 minutes then rinsed them off in cold water.

then chop up the mushrooms.

now for the marinade/sauce, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, grated ginger, and rice vinegar in a medium bowl.

in a large bowl, add the ground chicken, chopped mushrooms, onion, garlic, ground pepper and half the sauce.

mix to combine.

next heat some sesame oil in a pan.

add then chicken/mushroom mixture…

cook until the chicken browns and the onions have softened.  then add the rest of the sauce,

along with the water chestnuts and green onion.

you’ll see that there is a fair amount of liquid on the bottom of the pan.  to thicken it, we are going to  mix a couple tablespoons of cold water with one tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl.  then pour the cornstarch mixture into the pan.

as you mix in the cornstarch you will see that the liquid immediately starts to thicken up and forms a lovely, glossy sauce.  the chicken filling is now done!

to serve, fill lettuce leaves with the chicken filling and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped green onion.  i used butter lettuce but you could also use romaine or iceburg.

so far summer of wellness is going well and with these chicken lettuce wraps, it will only get better!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

adapted from Damn Delicious and Fit Foodie Finds

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup shittake mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 head butter lettuce

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and grated ginger.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, mushrooms, garlic, onion, ground pepper, and half the hoisin/soy sauce mixture.
  3. Heat the sesame oil in a large sauce pan on medium/high heat.
  4. Pour the chicken mixture into the pan and sauté for about 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is almost cooked. Make sure to stir continuously.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked and the onions have softened, pour in the rest of the hoisin/soy sauce mixture and add the green onion and water chestnuts.  Combine and let simmer for a few more minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the cold water and cornstarch.  Pour the mixture over the chicken and mix until a thick and glossy sauce forms.
  7. To serve, fill each lettuce leaf with a spoonful of the chicken filling.

Printer Friendly Recipe: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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