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Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps combine finely chopped chicken, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and scallions in a super flavorful sauce. Serve in fresh lettuce cups for a healthy meal.
Today’s Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps recipe is loosely inspired by the popular lettuce wraps served at P.F. Changs. But – we set out to make them even better!
Use hand-chopped chicken rather than ground chicken
Our version of this easy, healthy, flavorful dish is made with finely chopped, boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs – rather than ground chicken. While you can (of course) use ground chicken if you prefer, we find that ground chicken can sometimes be dry, and it has less flavor than using chopped chicken in these lettuce wraps.
We also purposely use a mix of both chicken breasts and chicken thighs. The combination of the two cuts of chicken will give your chicken lettuce wraps more flavor. And taking that little extra time to cut the chicken into small pieces will yield better texture in every bite.
Time saving tips
These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps cook up in about twenty minutes – so you’ll want to make sure you prepare and measure all of the ingredients before start to cook. (Read more about why mise en place is a good idea here.)
You can also make the sauce ahead of time – simmering together both soy sauce and Hoisin sauce, along with sesame oil, sherry wine, honey, garlic chili sauce, grated fresh ginger and garlic, and some cornstarch to thicken. Once the sauce comes to a boil, set aside to cool.
Chop your chicken breast and thighs, measure out the peanut oil, and clean and slice shiitake mushrooms, scallions, and red bell pepper.
Also prepare the topping for your Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap – we used sliced radishes, and coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts.
And finally, clean, dry and lay out the lettuce for serving. A soft, round, leafy Bib or Butter lettuce variety works well for these wraps.
Ready to cook!
You’ll cook the vegetables separate from the chicken (but in the same wok) – because they take different lengths of time to cook.
When both the vegetables and the chopped chicken are each cooked – combine the chicken with the previously-made sauce and heat until bubbly. Then, add the cooked vegetables to combine. Toss to combine – and you’re ready to serve.
You may enjoy these other Asian-inspired recipes:
- Moo Shu Beef Lettuce Cups
- Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
- Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sherry wine
2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds mixed boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs
4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
4-ounce package shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, whites and tops sliced and separated
4 ounces red bell pepper sliced into short thin strips (about half of one large red bell pepper)
4 ounces radishes or daikon sliced into small matchstick pieces*
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 heads Boston Bibb lettuce or Butter lettuce
IMPORTANT: The majority of this recipe is preparation with a short cooking time so make sure you have all ingredients prepped before you start to cook.
Make the sauce in a small sauce pan by combining all ingredients and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
Trim the breasts and thighs of fat. Cut each piece into thin strips with a very sharp knife, rotate then cut the opposite way to form small pieces. Alternatively, you could cut into chunks and pulse a few times in a food processor. What you want are small pieces, not ground so I like to do it by hand so I can control the size. Set the cut chicken aside.
In a heavy-duty wok over high heat, add two tablespoons of the oil and add the mushrooms. Cook in the hot oil until they start to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the scallion whites and red bell pepper strips and toss and cook one minute. Remove pan contents to a waiting bowl.
Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil and once shimmering hot, add the chicken and immediately toss and scrape the bottom until no pink shows.
Pour off and discard the liquid by pouring everything into a strainer. Place the chicken back in the pan and add the sauce and once hot and bubbly, add the cooked vegetables back in and toss.
Heat just to bring to hot then remove from the burner.
To serve, place open lettuce leaves on a platter and add drained spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into each lettuce leaf, then top with matchstick radish pieces, scallion greens and peanut pieces and serve.
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*The easiest way to prepare the radishes are to cut the top and bottom off then cut in half top to bottom. Lay the pieces cut down and with a sharp knife, cut half-moon slices. Then lay the half moon slices out like fanning a deck of cards and run the knife through again, sweeping through the pile. They don’t need to be perfect. Also if you prefer, a Daikon radish could be used, peeled, cut into slices then the slices into matchstick.