Minced Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad in Lettuce Cups

My recipe for Minced Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad in Lettuce Cups provides many ways for you to do the work in advance. You can prep the lettuce leaves up to several hours ahead. The salad can be mixed beforehand, too, as the vegetable mixture only tastes better after marinating in its dressing. Similarly, mix the chicken with the cornstarch, salt, and pepper, form it into a patty, and refrigerate it up to two hours before cooking. Measure out the other stir-fry seasonings so they're ready to add to the wok or frying pan when the time comes to do the cooking.

One final word of advice: Buy a little more lettuce than you think you'll need, so you can separate and pick out only perfect leaves, free of tears or splits. (Save less-than-perfect leaves for a tossed salad the next day.) When you're picking up a lettuce cup filled with delicious food, and eating it carefully, the last thing you want to do is drip something on your clothing, whether you're in formal or casual attire -- or wearing a white chef's jacket!

Minced Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad in Lettuce Cups

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook time: 16 minutes

    Yield: Serves 8

Minced Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad in Lettuce Cups Ingredients

    24 whole large organic lettuce leaves, such as iceberg, butter lettuce, or romaine

    1-1/2 pounds ground chicken

    1/4 cup cornstarch


    Freshly ground black pepper

    1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce

    3/4 cup rice vinegar

    2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

    1/8 teaspoon sugar

    1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons peanut oil

    2 tablespoons toasted Asian-style sesame oil

    2 cups firmly packed organic baby spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry

    1 cup finely chopped organic celery

    1 cup shredded or finely julienned organic carrot

    1 cup very thinly sliced organic red bell pepper strips

    1 cup very thinly sliced yellow onion

    2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

    6 organic scallions, trimmed and cut crosswise into very thin slices

    1/2 cup port wine

    1/2 cup organic chicken broth

    1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha (Vietnamese-style chili sauce), or other medium-hot bottled chili sauce

    1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh cilantro leaves

Minced Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad in Lettuce Cups Recipe Instructions

    Ahead of time, separate the lettuce leaves, rinse them thoroughly, wrap loosely in paper towels to absorb the moisture, and chill in the refrigerator until serving time.

    Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, cornstarch, and light sprinklings of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

    In another bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 1/4 cup of the rice vinegar, all of the sherry vinegar, the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. When the sugar and salt have dissolved, whisking briskly, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil and all of the sesame oil, until the mixture is emulsified. Add the spinach, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and onion, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss thoroughly to make the Asian salad.

    Pat any remaining moisture from the lettuce leaves and arrange them like cups, facing upward, on a large platter or on individual serving plates. With a fork and spoon, distribute the Asian salad evenly among the lettuce cups, draining excess dressing from each portion before placing it in the cup.

    In a large wok or skillet, heat the remaining peanut oil over high heat just until it swirls easily and gives off wisps of smoke. With clean hands, shape the ground chicken mixture into a large patty and carefully add to the wok or pan. Cook until the underside is browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and, with a stir-frying spatula or wooden spoon, break up the chicken and stir-fry, mixing it with the other ingredients, until thoroughly cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes longer.

    Add the remaining soy sauce and rice vinegar, port, broth, and Sriracha to taste. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 6 to 8 minutes longer.

    Adjust the seasonings, if necessary, with more salt and pepper. Spoon the chicken into the lettuce cups. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Minced Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad in Lettuce Cups Recipe, Asian Chicken Salad, Asian


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Minced Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad in Lettuce Cups

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