I’m always a sucker for a good lettuce wrap. That’s why I’ve made a few versions that I’ve featured here. So of course, when I see another recipe, I have to give it a try!! I’m actually really drawn to the appetizer section of this month’s Cookbook of the Month – The Shun Lee Cookbook. So many of the appetizer recipes sound so good. And I’m glad that I made this one, because it was very delicious!!
One of these days, I’m going to invest in a good wok. I don’t have one at all right now, and most of the recipes in this book are made using a wok. I just substituted a regular old skillet. The only complaint I had about this recipe was that it ended up a little bit oily. And maybe that’s because I didn’t have a wok. But it comes together super fast after you have all the prep work done. Make sure you have all your ingredients ready and in a row, because once you start cooking, expect to be done in less than 10 minutes. And one thing I didn’t think about when I made these – these are appetizer portions. I made half the recipe, and I made them for dinner, and there really wasn’t enough for two of us as a main dish. But we gobbled them right up!
Chicken Soong in Lettuce Wrap
from The Shun Lee Cookbook
Makes 4 appetizer servings
Prep Time: about 15 minutes
Cook Time: about 5 – 10 minutes
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons egg white (beat the white until foamy, then measure)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 celery ribs, strings removed with a vegetable peeler, finely diced (1 cup)
4 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and minced (3/4 cup)
3 carrots, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
8 whole Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts
To prepare the chicken, place the diced chicken in a medium bowl. Add the egg white, cornstarch, and salt; toss to coat.
To prepare the sauce, whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, sugar, and white pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl. Set the bowl aside.
Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add enough oil to come 1 inch up the sides of the wok and heat until very hot–almost smoking. Add the chicken and stir gently, keeping the pieces from sticking together, until they turn white, about 45 seconds.
Using a wide wire-mesh skimmer, transfer the chicken to a colander to drain. Discard all the oil except for 2 tablespoons.
Heat the wok with the oil over high heat. Add the celery, scallions, and carrots, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 45 seconds-one minute. Return the chicken to the wok.
Stir the sauce, add it to the wok, and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the cornstarch-water mixture and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds. Stir in the sesame oil. Transfer the chicken mixture to a serving bowl.
To serve, spread about ¼ teaspoon hoisin sauce in the center of each lettuce leaf. Add 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture, and sprinkle with a few pine nuts. Place 2 filled lettuce leaves on each plate and serve immediately.
Check out where we’ve been!
January – Italy