One of my most favorite additions to my cookbook shelf in the past year has been The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner, by Jaden Hair. And out of that cookbook, our most repeated recipes have been these Ground Chicken Lettuce Wraps (or Lettuce Cup Appetizers as Jaden calls them in her book) and Chinese Beef Broccoli.
This meal is loaded with vegetables and lean protein, not to mention flavor. The addition of some jasmine rice is the perfect way to turn this delicious appetizer into a quick weeknight meal. If you’re aiming for ultra-health conscious you can substitute brown rice for the jasmine rice, but I personally love the flavor and scent the jasmine rice brings to the dish.
I love Asian food, but until the past couple of years I didn’t have much experience cooking it but instead preferred to go out for Asian. The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook has really demystified Asian cooking for me. Where before it seemed too complicated and with recipe lists full of difficult to find ingredients, now it is simple and fast and only requires a trip to your neighborhood grocery store.
The way all of the different flavors and textures play off one another in this recipe makes it all the more like-able. With the soft rice, crunchy water chestnuts, crisp bell pepper, salty marinade, and sweet, juicy mandarin oranges, I can’t think of anything that’s missing from the ingredient list.
While the ingredient list may look long, don’t let let that stop you from trying this recipe. It comes together incredibly fast and you’re taste buds will certainly thank you afterward. Don’t be surprised if this becomes a regular at your dinner table. It’s certainly one at ours!
What are you favorite make-at-home Asian favorites?
Ground Chicken Lettuce Wraps
adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner, by Jaden Hair
1 lb. ground chicken
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
1/2 cup chopped red onion
8 shiitake mushrooms, diced
4 peeled water chestnuts, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 head Butter lettuce
1 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
1 - 11 ounce can mandarin orange sections, drained
In a bowl, marinate the ground chicken with the soy sauce, wine, and cornstarch for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. When hot, add the oil, swirling to coat. Stir in the garlic, ginger, red onion. Fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the ground chicken, cooking and stirring until lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, water chestnuts, rice vinegar, and oyster sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the red bell pepper and simmer until it is tender-crisp, about 30 seconds to a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.
Assemble the lettuce wraps by spooning a heaping tablespoon of rice and filling onto each lettuce leaf. Top with 2-3 mandarin orange sections.