Wednesday, March 16, 2011

(Healthy) Asian Lettuce Wraps

One of my farmer's market pickups this week was a head of Bibb lettuce.  If you've never had lettuce wraps, you need to go try them.  They're fresh and fun - a great dinner!

My intention was always to make chicken lettuce wraps, although my usual go-to lettuce wraps are Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps from missamy on TastyKitchen.  They're AWESOME.

But then I was exploring the newest blog on my google reader and found this healthier version.  Sure it leaves out the cashews, and I love cashews, but I am doing my first 5K in a month in a half so I have to lighten up my cooking!

I did have a really hard time finding short-grain rice.  All they had was brown (which I prefer), and I found it in the "health food" aisle. 

This recipe was fantastic.  I loved the short-grain rice - they stepped the wraps up to be a filling meal.  I kicked up the spice a little bit with the red pepper flakes and sriracha because we love spicy foods.  I feel like I add red pepper flakes to everything!

(Healthy) Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
adapted slightly from Cook's Illustrated, Light and Healthy 2010 via Pink Parsley
serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 Thai or jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves (about 1 head)
  • Sriracha, for serving

Cook rice according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, whisk the fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and cornstarch together in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, mash the ground chicken using the back of a spoon until smooth and no strand-like pieces of meat remain.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken, chile, and lime zest, and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Whisk the fish sauce mixture to recombine, and add to the skillet.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 45 seconds.  Remove from heat, and stir in the basil and scallions.

Transfer chicken to a serving bowl and serve with rice and lettuce leaves, top with sriracha.


Karen Liffmann said...

I look forward to reading your blog every day. Love knowing what you've made to eat. You are great!

Debbie said...

ok, these were very, very yummy!!! i have never had sriracha sauce and now it is my favorite!
we will make these often.

dani said...

We made these again last week - they are so tasty and easy!!

Debbie said...

i am making them again tomorrow as a salad. i have baby spinach and will mix it all together. i'll let you know how it came out!

Debbie said...

made this again, but we have it on a bed of lettuce...kind of a salad...yum!!!