I think there’s something so clever about the “let us”/”lettuce” play on words. I get a kick out of it every time and chuckle to myself. There is a little salad restaurant by my apartment that has changed its name several times, always throwing “let us” in the “lettuce” mix. I commend them on their creativity.
Sometimes, I find myself in a carb-induced coma. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes, I also find that the people around me don’t want bread and cheese for every course (I agree – crazy people). This recipe is the perfect answer. It is a great appetizer or main course.
Szechuan Chicken Lettuce Wraps (recipe loosely adapted from Aaron McCargo Jr.’s Foodnetwork.com recipe)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup shredded daikon radish
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup bean sprouts
3 stalks (1/2 cup) scallions
1/4 cup Szechuan sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1 head Bibb lettuce leaves
Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or any other asian inspired flavors to taste. (I like to add at least a 1/4 cup of a sweeter sauce like teriyaki or an asian salad dressing to add more flavor depth and cut the heat a little. Szechuan sauce is no joke people.)
Pound the chicken breasts until they are evenly thin. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. I usually prep the pan with non stick cooking spray, which is obviously unnecessary if you have non stick pans. Pan sear at medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. Set aside to cool, and once cool, rough chop.
If you want to be really fancy and multi-task, start the next step while the chicken is cooking. If you have a tendency to burn everything that touches the stove, don’t even think about it.
Time for lots of vegetable grating. Chop the ends off the carrots and radishes grate them all. Chop the green onion. You could probably put the veggies in a food processor and chop that way as well. I just got my first food processor for christmas (and am in love with it) but I’m conditioned to doing everything the old fashioned way.
Whisk the Szechuan sauce, lemon juice and any addional liquids in a large bowl. Add the chopped chicken and all vegetables to the bowl. Toss until everything is evenly coated.
Serve with separated pieces of the bibb lettuce for wrapping. Enjoy!