lettuce wraps with chicken

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This is a great accompaniment for the Soba with Pork in Sweet Ginger Scallion Sauce. It’s salty sweet and crunchy. Crisp fresh lettuce leaves make this dish a side or an appetizer.

Lettuce Wraps with Chicken (adapted from South Beach Diet)

1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil
1 chicken breast, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup meat)
1/2 cup finely chopped Chinese celery, leaves removed and discarded
1/4 cup chopped sweet bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or mirin)
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
12 medium and small leaves romaine lettuce
Whole salted peanuts

Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Add Chinese celery, peppers, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Return the chicken to the wok and add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and tamarind concentrate. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through.

Evenly divide the chicken mixture among the lettuce leaves. Garnish with the peanuts.

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sesame chicken nuggets with sweet and spicy dipping sauces

Sesame Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato Fries

Sesame Chicken Nuggets with Panko Breadcrumbs

Prep time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

For Chicken Nuggets
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/8 cup salt
Cold water to cover
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups panko bread crumbs (can use whole wheat panko)
4 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon white pepper

Sweet Honey-Ginger Mustard Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons honey (substitute: agave syrup)
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
Juice of half a lime (substitute: lemon)

Nam Jim Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 scallions, minced
1 chili pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced, or pressed through a garlic press
Juice of half a lime (substitute: lemon)

Preparation

1. In a large glass bowl, put the salt and fill 1/3 with cold water. Add the chicken breasts and fill with enough water to cover. Let the chicken brine for 2 hours. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauces and set aside.
2. Heat the oven to 400˚F. Line 2 large rimmed baking trays with sheets of aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. In a large pie plate, put the half cup olive oil and set aside. In another pie plate, put the breadcrumbs, cilantro and seasonings. Mix well. Set aside.
4. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine and slice into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Dip each chicken cube in the oil and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Lay each coated chicken piece in a single layer on the prepared baking trays.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve at once with the dipping sauces. I recommend serving the chicken nuggets with a fresh salad and sweet potato fries.