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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

My track record for eating green leafy veggies has been less than stellar. I know I'm not going to get any gold stars any time soon, however, I am making more of an effort to eat a variety of veggies. My trick is usually much like that of a child where the meat-veggie ratio is slightly skewed - or the veggies are in some type of sauce and hidden well. I know - you are allowed to shake your head in shame. I am learning. 

Proof of my expansion of things that are green is this dish.  Think of it like eating a taco - be careful not to fill the lettuce leaves too much or you will be having one very big mess! 

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Taken from America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010.
Makes for 4.

1 ½ cups water
1 cup short-grain rice, such as sushi rice, rinsed
3 TBSP fish sauce
3 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP grated lime zest
1 ½ TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp. Cornstarch
1 pound of ground chicken
2 tsp. Oil
1 Thai or jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
¼ up fresh basil
3 green onions, sliced
12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves (about 1 head)

  1. Bring the water and rice to a boil in a medium pot over high heat.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and let sit, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. While the rice sits off the heat, whisk the fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the chicken, chile, and lime zest and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Whisk the fish sauce mixture to recombine, then add it to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 45 seconds.  Remove from heat, and stir in the basil and green onions. 
  5. In assembling these lettuce wraps:
    1. Use lettuce leaf as a base
    2. Place a few spoonfuls of rice
    3. Cover with chicken mixture
    4. Eat like a taco!

I was skeptical about this actually turning out – but it did and is even excellent leftover. Enjoy!

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