Thursday, May 17, 2012

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

          Last Friday night, Jenn had a bunch of girls over to have appetizers before they all went to Broadripple to celebrate her birthday.  I had to stay at school for an activity until 8:30 that night, so it had to be something she and I could make ahead of time.  She planned on having guacamole, shrimp, a fruit plate, and veggies - but she needed something else that provided some protein.  I love the Thai Lettuce Wraps at the Cheesecake Factory, and I was pretty sure we could duplicate that tasty, build-it-yourself snacking experience. Because we were under time constraints, Jenn served the lettuce wraps with store bought sauce, House of Tsang Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce, which was absolutely delicious.  Since there were no leftovers, I made it again for Tuesday night's dinner.  This time I dug into my repetoire of tried and true sauces that I have used in the past. Having a choice of three different sauces makes these wraps a bit more adventurous, but if you wish to only make one - it's just as yummy!

Steps to Make Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1.  Marinate 2 large chichen breasts in a mixture of 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1teaspoon fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil for about 20 minures while you are doing the rest of the steps.  (If pressed for time, just use plain cooked chicken)
2.  Slice half a cucumber very thin, and then place in a bowl with 2 thin slices purple onion, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of mustard seeds, and 1/8 teaspoon peppercorns.  Let this sit until you assemble the wrap platter.  (If pressed for time, just use plain sliced cucumbers on the platter.)
3.  Make one sauce or more ....

Cilantro Tamarind Sauce 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar                            
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon honey
1 pinch turmeric
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove put through a press
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
Combine vinegars, honey, and tamarind in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds.
Blend or food process the  tamarind mixture, cilantro, garlic, onions, pepper, cumin, coriander, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chili Garlic Soy Sauce
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared hot chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Mix all ingredients together.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use

Peanut-Sesame Sauce - from The Working Mother Cookbook
1 clove garlic, put through a press
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup very hot water
Blend or food process all the ingredients together.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill, broil, or George Foreman it while you are assembling the lettuce wrap platter.

5.  Construct the lettuce wrap platter by arranging about a cup shredded carrots, a cup bean sprouts,
the drained cucumber/purple onion mix, washed and  separated Boston lettuce leaves, the sauce(s), and the cooked sliced chicken.

6.  Then -

      Make your choices......                                                    

And roll your wrap....


  1. OK... so why do these delicious looking things keep popping up on my computer screen ....
    Hey Jules, when did you start getting so into cooking!! Looks like you are a real pro! I'm enjoying it.!

  2. Julie,
    This is a wonderful blog! Such good information and I love the recipes, their history and how it has been woven into your family life! I know a few people who will enjoy reading your blog, including Becky!
    Your Elk Lake neighbor...