Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sweet-Hot Pan Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This one is for my girl Kristi.  She just had a beautiful baby girl...Willow...and she asked me to blog this.  There was a great Martini/Sushi bar in Flagstaff that i used to visit on a regular basis that introduced me to Pan Asian.  It is simply a fusion of flavors, be it Thailand, Japan, China or the Philippines inspiring it...just mix it up.  We had it over a couple of bottles of wine one night a while back...that was a good night.  I did change it up a bit from the original, but that usually happens in our kitchen quite often.  I added a "hot" element to these and went for toasted almonds slivers as opposed to the crispy chow mein noodles to finish it off.  Here the heat from the sriracha marinade gets balanced by the sweet sesame ginger dressing and the cool wrap.  I always thought butter leaf lettuce was the accepted norm, but after a little research i have decided that any substantial leaf lettuce will work just fine.  I chose red leaf this time around, but my favorite would have to be romaine.  This is a very light meal and works equally as well as an appetizer. 

What you will need:

6 lettuce leaves ($.50)
6 chicken strips ($2.50)
I can sliced water chestnuts ($.50)
1 cucumber ($.48)
1 carrot ($.15)
hand full of bean sprouts ($.36)
handfull of slivered almonds ($.38)
1/4 soy sauce
3 tbs sriracha
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Ken's Steakhouse Lite Asian Sesamen Ginger Dressing

How to make it happen:

The chicken needs to marinate in the soy, sriracha and crushed red pepper flakes for a couple of hours.  Chop the chestnuts, carrot and cucumber (seeds removed) pretty fine...nice little chunks.  Add the bean sprouts and the dressing before tossing and allowing to chill in the fridge.  You need the salad to be nice and cold to balance the temp of the chicken when it comes off the grill.  The almonds need to be toasted on the stove top until they are browning and releasing their oil.  Grill the chicken and dice into chunks.  Each leaf of lettuce will get a spoon of the cold salad topped with chunks of chicken and the toasted almonds.  You could get really crazy and throw some grilled and chunked Asian pears into the mix if you wanted to.  There really is no wrong or right with this.  Asian flavors meld really well and often just elevate each other.   If you have never cooked with me a favor and Google it right now.  I hope you like these....seriously one of my favorite things to eat.  Add it all up and you got a great, fun to eat meal with leftovers for...under...five bucks.  Unconventionally Gourmet wouldn't you say? 


  1. This sounds amazing and I can not wait to make it!! And I love the story behind it!! :-)

  2. Yum. Making this for an upcoming potluck!!!!