I’ve been seeing these lettuce wraps at pan-Asian restaurants lately and I figured that I’d give it a go. These are low-carb, dairy-free, and low-fat. They are also gluten-free if you use Tamari instead of Shoyu for the soy sauce.
Tamari is a Japanese soy sauce that does not have wheat in it. Shoyu, on the other hand, does have wheat. Unfortunately, most of the soy sauce in America is Shoyu (or its equivalent from other countries). Be careful, though! I have found at least one “Tamari” (I’m wagging my finger at YOU-Kikkoman!) that contained wheat. It’s not supposed to, but this one did.
I suppose it’s like the Vegetarian Haggis I saw the other day. I’m not sure how you make that and call it “Haggis”.
Speaking about non-vegetarianism, these wraps are made with ground chicken. If you can grind your own, great! If not, the store stuff is fine, just try to go with reputable sources.
Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps
- Wok or Giant Skillet
- Mixing Bowl (medium)
- Fork (to stir)
- Large Basin of Water
- Meat Grinder (or buy ground meat)
- Coconut Oil, Lard, or Oil to grease Wok/Skillet
- 2-3 Chicken Breasts or 4-6 Chicken Thighs or 1-2 pounds of Ground Chicken
- 1 Shallot, diced
- 1 lb. Carrots, diced
- 1 cup Celery, diced
- 1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 4 tbsp. Garlic, minced or 2 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 4 tbsp. Ginger, minced or 2 tbsp. Ginger Powder
- 5 tbsp. Tamari (Gluten-free Soy Sauce)
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tbsp. Hot Sauce (Optional)
- 1-2 heads of Iceberg Lettuce, gently separated
- 1/2 cup of Water
- 2 tbsp. Corn Starch
- Garnish (Optional) [Pick some or all]:
- 1 cup Cashews, toasted
- 1 cup Peanuts, toasted
- 1 cup Grape Tomatoes
- 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut, shredded and toasted
- 1 cup Pineapple Chunks, drained
- 1/2 cup Green Onion, sliced
- More hot sauce!
- Toasted Sesame Oil
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Fried rice sticks
Separate lettuce leaves to form the lettuce wrap “skin”. Cut out the core of the lettuce head to free leaves and gently work around the periphery with your fingers. Allow leaves to sit in the large basin of water both to clean off any extra dirt and to keep the leaves fresh until service.
Mix ground chicken, shallot, carrot, celery, bell pepper, ginger, garlic, tamari, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce in the mixing bowl.
Heat wok or skillet over medium heat. When hot, melt coconut oil and swirl to coat.
Stir-fry chicken mixture. Adjust heat as necessary to keep things cooking.
When the cooking is almost finished, stir the corn starch with the water and drain the lettuce leaves. Allow the lettuce leaves to dry slightly while inverted to minimize excess water.
Add the corn starch mixture to the stir-fry. After it thickens, check the seasoning. If need be, add tamari to taste.
Serve quickly by placing stir-fry on a plate and garnishing with desired options. Present with lettuce leaves and allow diners to make their own rolls.