Monday, June 25, 2012

Spicy-Crunchy Chicken Lettuce Cups

 This meal has been my favorite recipe since I was about 10 years old. It is great for a quick summer weeknight meal. It's crunchy, spicy, tangy, sweet, and overall DELICIOUS!


  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Southeast Asian fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Asian-style chile paste, like sambal oelek
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, like corn, peanut, or soy
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or ground turkey)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (this isn't required, tastes fine without)
  • 4 scallions (white and green), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup canned, drained water chestnuts, chopped (I don't use water chestnuts)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves (I don't use mint leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 8 to 10 Bibb lettuce leaves (or iceberg lettuce)
  • Lime wedges

  • Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and chile paste. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and salt, and stir-fry the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the scallions, carrot, and water chestnuts. Transfer the chicken mixture to a bowl and cool. Stir in the lime juice mixture, mint, and coriander. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and fill each with some of the chicken salad. Serve with lime wedges.

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