Recipe: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chew with your mouth closed. Don’t put your feet on the table. That’s pretty much the extent of my rules governing dining etiquette. When it comes to eating I like to take my cue from the Indian culture, hands-on. Fiddling with my food since childhood, these moo-shu-like lettuce wraps are another great excuse to hold dinner in the palm of my hand. Now I just have to remember: napkin, not sleeve.


Asian Sauce

1/2 cup sushi vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cornstarch

Chicken Filling

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
2 (1.1oz/30g) packages dried portobello mushrooms, rehydrated in boiling water for 20 minutes, rinsed well,
patted dry and chopped

Crunchy Topping

1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 (3oz/85g) packages ramen noodles, crushed

Iceberg lettuce leaves
6 tbsp hoisin sauce


1) For the sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk sushi vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch. Set aside.

2) For the chicken, in a food processor, pulse chicken breasts until finely chopped. Place in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together white wine, cornstarch, egg whites and salt. Pour over chopped chicken and marinate for 10 minutes.

3) Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour chicken and marinade into boiling water and stir constantly to break up lumps. Cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain chicken mixture into a strainer. Set aside.

4) In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, water chestnuts, red peppers, carrots and mushrooms, stirring until softened. Add chicken mixture and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add reserved sauce to skillet, turn heat to high and stir until sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.

5) For the topping, in a small skillet, brown almonds and noodles over medium heat until golden.

6) To serve, divide chicken mixture among lettuce leaves topping each with 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce and sprinkle with almonds.

Serves 4-6