Readers of The Dinner Pages are well aware that I’m not afraid of carbs. I mean, Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches and Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes with Cream Cheese Ice Cream are not exactly light fare! But sometimes, in the midst of all those carbs, I need a break and need a quick, easy, meal that’s not so heavy. These Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups fit the bill!
I quickly browned ground chicken in a wok, then added shredded carrots for texture and color, and garlic and the whites of green onions for flavor. I stirred in a simple sauce containing hoisin, soy sauce, and some water, and let it thicken up briefly.
I served the chicken mixture on crisp lettuce leaves, garnished with green onions. The hoisin results in a slightly sweet flavor to the chicken, but it’s balanced by the saltiness of the soy sauce and the garlic. It’s a great dinner for the whole family. My toddler was literally trying to climb into his high chair to start eating it (a big change from the norm when he is kicking and flailing around to avoid sitting down to dinner!).
Of course, if you really miss your carbs, you can totally serve the chicken over steamed white rice! It’s great that way too!
Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups (adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray, January/February 2014)
Yield: serves 4
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
1/2 cup matchstick carrots (or 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 green onions, whites and greens separated and chopped
1 head romaine lettuce (or the lettuce of your choice)
1. Combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and 1/3 cup of water in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large nonstick wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrot and the other tablespoon of oil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the garlic and the whites of the green onions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the hoisin mixture and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
4. Divide the lettuce leaves among 4 plates and top with the chicken. Garnish with green onions before serving.