I love water chestnuts. There, I’ve said it. Heehee.
If you share my love, you’ll probably really enjoy these chicken lettuce wraps. I combined ground chicken, chopped water chestnuts (yum!), garlic (of course!) and some other goodies, like hoisin sauce, fresh ginger and sesame oil.
My original intention was to recreate the chicken lettuce wraps appetizer we like from PF Chang’s. PF Chang’s is pretty much the ONLY “Asian” restaurant — chain or otherwise, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, or otherwise — Dustin will go to willingly. So, you could say we eat there a lot. ‘Cuz I like me some Asian food and I will take it any way I can get it.
Well, these wraps didn’t turn out exactly like the ones at PF Chang’s, but they were delicious nonetheless. We actually had plenty for left-overs, too. For a quick lunch you could even take to work, all you have to do is put the filling in a container, place the washed lettuce leafs between some paper towels in a large plastic bag and **snap** instant lunch! Impress (and, quite possibly, annoy) your fiends or coworkers with your tasty, healthy and homemade lunch!
Now, as you can see in my photos, I used a green leaf lettuce for these wraps. I have played around with several different types of lettuce for wraps (iceberg, romaine, Bibb, butter, green leaf and even escarole are all options you could use). I would recommend Bibb, romaine or iceberg lettuce because of their higher “crunch factor” and their flavor doesn’t overpower the chicken filling (like it did with this green leaf lettuce — boo!).
These wraps not only have a delicious flavor from the browned chicken and Asian seasonings, but the double crunch from the water chestnuts and lettuce is what really makes these special. Try them out for a tasty lunch or appetizer!
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
10-12 bibb, iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 oz. (1 can) water chestnuts, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
Wash lettuce leaves, drain and set aside. Leave whole. You may cut out the spine if you prefer, though this is not necessary.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into small pieces. Add the onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili flakes. Cook until the meat is well browned and the onions are translucent.
Add water chestnuts and green onions and cook for 1 minute until well mixed.
Spoon meat mixture onto lettuce leaves.