Asian Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients: 

For the Marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • 1 scallion, green and white parts, sliced
  • 8 to 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs, or 2 thighs and 2 legs), cut into small cubes or strips

For the slaw:

  • 1/4 teaspoon dark (asian) sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 thick carrot (about 4 ounces), cut into 1/8-inch strips
  • 1 cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch strips
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick diagonally
  • 2 to 3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal
  • 16 lettuce leaves (romaine, Boston, Bibb, or green or red leaf)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Procedures:

1. Make the marinade. Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, 2 tablespoons oil, the ginger, garlic, chile flakes, and scallion in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat the meat. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator, letting the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the slaw. Whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, sesame oil, salt, and ginger in a large bowl. Toss the vinaigrette together with the carrot, cucumber, celery, and scallions. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

3. To prepare the lettuce, rinse and pat the leaves dry. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use. (If you choose romaine, use the leafy top part of the lettuce for the wrappers. You can tear off the stiffer bottom stem half, chop it up, and add it to the slaw for extra crunch if you like.)

4. Cook the chicken. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken and marinade and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is firm to the touch and beginning to brown. Stir in the peanuts.

5. To assemble and serve, set out the slaw and chicken in bowls along with a platter of the lettuce. Wrap a scoop of slaw and chicken in each lettuce leaf. Have a napkin handy! (recipe from alexandracooks.com)

Health benefits: 

  • Chicken: good supply of protein content, the supply of essential vitamins and minerals, benefits in losing weight, cholesterol control, blood pressure control, and a reduced risk of cancer (organicfacts.net)
  • Lettuce: moisture, energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and sugars. The minerals and vitamins found in lettuce include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc along with vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, C, A, E, and vitamin K. (organicfacts.net)
  • Scallions: helps bone Health. A single, 12-gram green onion stalk contains nearly 20 micrograms of vitamin K and 1.6 milligrams of vitamin C. (healthyfacts.com)
  • Ginger: relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain. The root or underground stem (rhizome) of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form or as juice. (medicalnewstoday.com)
  • Celery: very rich in vitamin K and also contains folate, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. Dietary fiber – despite being mainly water,celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. The vegetable contains 1.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.(medicalnewstoday.com)
  • Cucumber: Keeps you hydrated, fights heat, both inside and out, flushes out toxins, lavishes you with vitamins, supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon, aids in weight loss, revives the eyes, cuts cancer. (care2.com)
~Written by Ruby Liu 
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