Monday, March 16, 2009

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Mr. ValleyWriter and I really enjoy the Thai lettuce wrap appetizer that they serve at The Cheesecake Factory. Every time we have it, I say that we should make it at home for dinner some night - but I've never actually come through - until now. I roasted a chicken on Saturday and was trying to decide what to do with the leftovers. Last night, I poked around for some recipes and even found one that claimed to be the official Cheesecake Factory recipe, but they all seemed way more complicated than they needed to be (or at least, than I wanted to deal with on a weeknight).

I ended up browsing the Thai/Chinese section of my local natural foods store tonight and found some helpful aids to make the process a little easier. I know a lot of you out there hate this term, but I guess you could call this "semi-homemade" Thai lettuce wraps. It turned out so good, I wish I had more leftover chicken! (I might have to roast a chicken every weekend just to have this.) It was quite the feast to behold, as well:


Here's how I made my version of

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

1 head Boston lettuce
3-4 carrots, julienned
1 cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. water
1 can bean sprouts
1 Tbsp. peanut oil
1 1/2 c. shredded roast chicken
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1" piece ginger root, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili garlic paste
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 pkg. instant Thai rice noodle soup (I used ginger flavor)

For dipping (I used bottled versions of these sauces):
Duck sauce
Dumpling dipping sauce
Sweet chili garlic sauce

Directions:
Carefully peel leaves off lettuce, keeping as many whole leaves intact as possible. Wash and dry leaves, set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, sugar and water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes until sugar dissolves. Put vinegar mixture in freezer for 15-20 minutes to cool. Then put cucumber pieces into mixture and let marinate in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and saute 1-2 minutes. Add chili garlic paste, soy sauce and chicken.
In a saute pan, heat peanut oil over low heat. Add bean sprouts.
Cook both chicken and bean sprouts until heated through.
Meanwhile, cook Thai rice noodle soup as directed on package. Drain when done cooking
Assemble lettuce, carrots, cucumbers (drained from the marinade), bean sprouts and rice noodles on a large platter.
Put chicken and dipping sauces in separate bowls.
To eat, add chicken, cucumber, carrots and bean sprouts to lettuce leaf (like a taco). Dip in desired sauce(s) and enjoy!

1 comment:

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

ValleyWriter...I LOVE the new look! You'll have to show me how to do this. It looks beautiful. I'm getting soooo tired of my old look. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Big hugs to you. Love this Thai Lettce Wraps recipe by the way. So perfect for me right now. :)