Light, healthy and low-carb, these lettuce wraps are a great starter for any meal or they can be featured as an entrée themselves. Try variations by substituting any kind of meat for the chicken—or leave the meat out if you want a vegetarian delight. With an Asian flavor, this dish is served aboard Viking’s China ships, but it will work with any style of cuisine.
One head of crisp iceberg or butter lettuce
Two dried black mushrooms
A half pound ground chicken
One-half teaspoon cornstarch
Two teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
One tablespoon vegetable oil
One teaspoon minced ginger
One clove garlic, minced
One-half red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
One-half cup finely chopped water chestnuts
Two teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
One-quarter cup hoisin sauce
Two teaspoons soy sauce
One and a half teaspoons chili garlic sauce
One teaspoon sesame oil
In a small bowl, cover mushrooms in warm water and soak for 15 minutes until softened, and drain. Discard stems; chop caps. In a bowl, mix cornstarch and wine or sherry. Add chicken; let stand for 10 minutes. Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Heat a stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil; swirl to coat all sides. Add ginger and garlic; cook for about 15 seconds until fragrant. Add chicken mixture and stir-fry for about 2 minutes until crumbly and no longer pink. Add bell pepper, water chestnuts and mushrooms and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until bell pepper is soft. Stir in the cilantro; remove from heat. To serve, arrange lettuce cups on a plate. Place chicken mixture and sauce in separate serving bowls. Each person can make their own by spooning the chicken mixture into the lettuce cup and drizzling sauce on top. Fold the lettuce around the filling and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.