Chicken (or Turkey) Lettuce Cups
This recipe comes from one of the first cookbooks I ever purchased for myself, Martin Yan Quick & Easy. Did you know that this rambunctious TV star actually got his start right here in Calgary? This recipe is, as promised, quick and easy to make. You can serve as an appetizer with the filling already in each individual cup, or serve it family style and allow everyone to wrap their own.
Author: Martin Yan Quick & Easy
Recipe type: Appetizer, Entree
Makes: 8 lettuce cups
- 2 dried Chinese black or shiitake mushrooms
- ½ lb (227 g) ground chicken, or ground turkey
- 2 tsp (10 mL) Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry
- 1½ tsp (7 mL) cornstarch
- ¼ cup (60 mL) hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp (10 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
- 1½ tsp (7 mL) chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil or other neutral cooking oil
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ginger, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- ½ cup (125 mL) water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cilantro, chopped
- 8 iceberg lettuce cups
- In a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in warm water to cover until softened, about 15-30 minutes; drain. Discard the stems and coarsely chop the caps. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken (or turkey), cornstarch and wine and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- Place a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chicken mixture and stir-fry until crumbly and no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper, water chestnuts and mushrooms and stir-fry until the bell pepper is soft, 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro. To serve, arrange the lettuce cups on a plate and set alongside the sauce and the chicken mixture. Spoon some of the chicken mixture into the lettuce cup (don't be greedy if you want it to wrap nicely!) Add a drizzle of sauce, then fold the lettuce around the filling and enjoy.
Lettuce tip (from my days of working fast food in high school): Core your iceberg lettuce and cut in half to get the nicest looking cups.