I love to make food. It’s where I find joy...
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, so easy your kids can make them with just a little guidance. I am always thrilled at what kids can accomplish when put to task. Over the last year plus I have embarked on teaching not just my own children how to cook and bake, but I have taken a couple additional kids under my wing, through the technologies that we have now become so accustom to, Zoom, as part of our daily life. Every weekend for months now, my students and I log in for about an hour and a half each session, on average but never times, and they make their dish while I make my own working simultaneous on the same meal. We go slow, step by step with lots of explanation and of course story sharing and general good humor along the way. Each lesson has resulted in a a variety of dishes from simple to a little more complex, but always a result that each child can succeed and celebrate in. It has been my pleasure helping these children, explore their interests and gain so much confidence along the way as well as find some company in, a at times, a lonely year.
This dish was no exception and a by product of one of our many Zooms. Lots of crunch with fresh lettuce, water chestnuts and peanuts, a bit of heat, then balanced with fresh cilantro, basil and lime... Bonus, this dish can easily be made gluten free with the right ingredients too boot! Fresh, easy to make and doesn’t get your house hot when summer is fierce. I hope you enjoy and perhaps tackle this recipe with your little ones as well. Fun to create, fun to present and super fun to eat! And as my own little said, "it's like a lettuce taco!", high praise as tacos are her favorite food in the world! and I can not disagree...
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1-pound ground chicken 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced fine 1 small yellow onion, diced 1-8oz. can water chestnuts, liquid drained and chopped 2 tbsp gluten free, low sodium tamari or soy sauce 3 tbsp gluten free hoisin sauce 2 tbsp honey 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (Sambal) ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil ½ tbsp corn starch ½ cup roasted salted cashew or peanuts, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 2 to 3 tbsp oil for cooking
1 large head bibb or butter lettuce 1 cup shredded carrot, store bought is fine. Fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped or torn Fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn Additional chopped cashew or peanuts 2 to 3 limes, cut into wedges for serving Sriracha for serving (optional)
In a large skillet, heat your oil over a medium to high temperature. Add ground chicken, garlic, onion and water chestnuts. Break apart the meat and cook until done and onions become transparent as well as any liquid that may develop evaporates. While chicken is cooking in a separate small bowl, whisk your soy sauce, hoisin, honey, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil and corn starch until mixed. Pour sauce over and the cooked chicken and continue to sauté until sauce has thickened. Add chopped cashew or peanuts and mix again. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper if preferred. Remove from heat and set aside for serving.
To assemble, use the large outer leave of lettuce as a cup, doubled is best, and to the center, place a small mound of the chicken mixture. Top with shredded carrot, torn basil and cilantro leaves and additional chopped nuts. Serve with fresh lime wedges and a drizzle of Sriracha.
~Feeds six people.
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