But that all changed when I made THIS…
Go on stare at it but you’re gonna drool… a lot. It’s okay, I won’t tell. This is drool-worthy! LOL
A while back when I personally went more for ground turkey and chicken and less beef I figured I would put my own spin on these and see if *I* could make them healthy but rockin’. Like I said, every other one I’ve tried were just blasé. No wow, factor. This recipe took me a bit and I actually have 2 versions of it depend on my mood. This one contains limes. Yeah, limes in Asian cuisine. Not the first thing you think of, right? Yeah, me either but I’ve been fortunate in my career to have worked with and befriended those with great knowledge of Asian cuisine. The one day I asked Fen about these lettuce wraps, what she thought would go in them to make them ‘Wow!’. I also did tell her nothing “squishy or icky” (i.e., squid or raw this/that – I’m not that brave! LOL). Well when she mentioned about the spices, she mentioned limes. Yeah, I made the ‘Huh? Limes???’ face too. She said that it’s semi-widely used but in certain dishes. She actually said to give it a shot and see how I liked it.
Well even though I was skeptical I decided to give it a shot. Let me tell you what.. thiswas unlike any of the other lettuce cups I had ever had. These were freaking AWESOME!!! I mean AWESOMETASTIC!!! The lime adds that certain je ne sais quoi to it. It brightens the flavor a 1000 levels and what you get is this unreal flavor explosion in your mouth! I was hooked from that day on.
I was so excited for Fen to try them the next day. As she assembled it and shoved the entire thing in her mouth (yeah… I then realized that there is no ladylike way to eat these things to literally just open up and inhale!) her eyes got as big as silver dollars then they closed slowly and a smile formed in the corners of her stuffed cheeks. She was savoring them. So what seemed like 4 hours for her to chew this thing (okay so it was like a minute or two – I was impatient.. LOL) she said they were the best ones she had ever had – ever! Of course I didn’t believe her and told her she was just saying that but apparently she was ignoring me as she was busy assembling another one and stuffing that into her mouth , eyes closed shut and just letting that flavor train do it’s magic. When I saw that I knew I did good.
Let me tell you what peeps, taking these shots for this post was TORTURE! Why? To see those beautiful cups just calling out my name, the intoxicating smell of chili/ginger/soy sauce and that anticipation of knowing just how amazing they are, it was almost too much to take. I was going to rush but I’m glad I didn’t as I think I got some of my best photography shots ever with this. But when I was done with the photo shoot these puppies were ALL MINE! This was one of those prop your feet up, lean your chair back and just savor the flavor type of meals.
Now we all know I’m a huge carb lover – gimme bread but if THIS is what I can make healthy AND taste this amazing, then skip the carbs baby! I’m nomming on these in a big way!
What I love most about these is that they are healthy and light. They are quick and simple to make plus you get to eat with your hands which means less dishes! These are diet friendly (yeah – my thighs are thankful of this) and you can easily use ground turkey or even shrimp.
|Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups||
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup short grain white rice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbl oyster sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha Chili Sauce
- 1 Tbl Worcestershire
- 3 Tbl reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbl fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp fresh lime zest
- 2 Tbl brown sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1lb ground chicken
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 2 green onions, finely chopped plus extra for garnish
- 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves, washed
- Crispy fried noodles
- In a medium pot over high heat, bring the water, salt, and rice to a boil.
- Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the rice from the heat and let sit, covered, until tender, another 10-15 minutes.
- Whisk the oyster sauce, Worcestershire, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat add the oil and heat until shimmering.
- Add the chicken, sriracha sauce and lime zest and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces.
- Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- When the chicken is no longer pink, re-whisk the sauce mixture to recombine and add it to the skillet.
- Stirring constantly, cook over medium-high heat or until the sauce has thickened, a minute or two.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions.
- To serve place a scoop of the rice in the center of the lettuce cup, top with a spoonful of the chicken mixture.
- Garnish with additional green onions and crispy fried noodles.
If you wanted you could add 1/4 diced water chestnuts, 1/4 cup diced bamboo shoots and 1/4 cup minced carrot shards