Monday, September 13, 2010

Asian lettuce wraps

We like Asian lettuce wraps at our house, so when I saw this recipe over at Jamie cooks it up, I wanted to try it.
The only new ingredient I had to buy was oyster sauce.  I did modify it a bit.  Partially because I had DH helping and he wasn't paying attention that a lower case t is teaspoon and capital is Tablespoon, so he added a Tablespoon of hoisin sauce.  I left out the red pepper flakes.  Somehow, even though they were great the other day, I'm afraid of them.  Especially because this didn't seem to simmer with the sauce much to distribute any heat.  The other thing I modified is that I didn't add white sugar at all.  It seemed like it was going to be a bit too sweet with the extra sugar.  I wasn't at all disappointed with less sugar.  It was still plenty sweet for a dinner meal.  If making it again, I'm not sure I would add as many almonds.  I probably had a bit less chicken than called for because I just used a container of pre-cooked, but there were a lot of almonds.  While they added a nice change in texture, I'm not sure it was worth adding that many.  Maybe just add some chopped up, or better yet, sprinkle some chopped on top.
I also chopped my veggies smaller than she did, (mostly because I chopped them thin and then ran them through my slicer attachment of my food processor to get them diced.)   Point being, they were faster to chop, and they done cooking sooner.  All of which was great because I had ended up practicing some choir music later than I had planned, and needed to have dinner done so the boys could go to a court of honor.  Worked out well.

  • 3 chicken breasts (I just used some pre-cooked chicken to speed things up.)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic (Totally forgot this and added it at the last minute.)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (although this would be great to put on butterhead as well)
Sauce Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. Cut chicken into pieces and cook in 1 Tablespoon of oil.  Remove from pan (or just defrost if using pre-cooked.)  Meanwhile, chop all your veggies.  (Like I mentioned above, I chopped my carrot in half lengthwise, and in quarters where it was really thick and ran it through the thicker slicer attachment of my food processor.  I actually did the same for the celery (cut each stalk in half at the thick end) and red pepper (chopped that in strips first) and even my onion (chopped it in rings, then the rings in half, then through the slicer.  That made quick work of my veggies, and nice smaller pieces which the kiddos complain less about.) 
  2. In another Tablespoon of oil, saute veggies until crisp tender, stirring occasionally.  (Basically I sauteed these for only 5 minutes or so.  The original recipe said 15.)  While the veggies are cooking, whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.  
  3. Add chicken and sauce to the veggies and heat.  (The original recipe just said to heat through, but I wanted my flavors to soak in so I simmered it for a few minutes -maybe 5 or so.)  I added the almonds at the very end of the simmer, but like I said above, I'd probably sprinkle them on top next time.

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