Monday, October 09, 2006

Chicken Lettuce Wraps served with a side of "Can we eat yet, I'm starving?"

It's entirely possible that the most common phrase a food blogger will ever hear is: "Can we eat yet?" And if there are children in the household you add two additional words onto that sentence: "I'm staaaaarving." (NOTE: The longer you take garnishing and photographing your culinary creations the more a's you'll need to add to the word starving.) If I had one of those little silver click counters in my hand and clicked it every time Hannah (eleven), or Gunther (eight) or my partner Bradley (old enough to know better) said those words last night, I'd have a serious case of carpel tunnel right now, and my guest food blogging days would be over.

Hi, it's Rand. While Kalyn is off living the jet-set life of a fourth Grade Teacher/food blogger/political activist/power shopper, I'm filling in with a little recipe for Chicken Lettuce Wraps that actually prevented the starvation death of one of our children. I won't tell you which one.

This recipe is supposed to be as close to PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps as you can get (without actually working at PF Chang's, stealing the recipe, and then getting fired for passing it around your neighborhood). I had no idea who to credit since it was passed around my neighborhood, and I found some version of it on lots of different sites, none of them with a credit. I also didn't follow it too carefully. Whoever created it, thank you for providing all of us with this recipe. We hope you're still gainfully employed.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps by Rand.

Ground chicken (I used half ground chicken and half ground turkey, just because I'm not a follower) in a combination of cornstarch, dry sherry, water, low-salt soy sauce, salt, and pepper. It doesn't need to marinate long.

Low-salt soy sauce, dry sherry, Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, Thai fish sauce, water, sesame oil, orange zest together in a bowl and set it aside.

Ground Chirkey (no, that's not a typo) in a wok with peanut oil. Set aside.

Mushrooms (I used brown Italian mushrooms and barely minced them, since I like to see bits of something identifiable in everything I eat), freshly minced garlic, freshly minced ginger, minced green chili, green onion, chopped water chestnuts, and chopped bamboo shoots. While I was chopping all this Hannah (who loves sushi, Indian food, Thai, Korean, and chocolate) said, "Are the mushrooms and water chestnuts something optional that we can like add ourselves if we like?" I told her she wouldn't actually be able to identify them, and after she ate her fourth lettuce wrap I knew I was right.

Ground chicken and all the veggie, nut, herb, goodness that you've sauteed into the wok and stir fry.

This is where I heard that oft repeated phrase: "Can we eat yet, I'm starving?" My reply was something like: ""

Ground chicken combo in lettuce cups. I used Butter Lettuce, frankly just because it had the word "butter" in it. Garnish with cilantro and a few crushed peanuts. You can also serve them on top of cooked cellophane noodles, but I skipped the noodles.

We dipped ours in a little sweet chili sauce, ponzu, and crushed peanut combo. Yum.

Ground chicken or ground turkey, or both, cornstarch, dry sherry, low-salt soy sauce, salt, pepper, cilantro, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, green chili, green onion, garlic, ginger, Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, orange zest, lettuce, and chocolate covered marshmallow jack-o-lanterns.

And no, that last item on the shopping list is not optional. Not at our house anyway. Peace out. Rand

(P.S. from Kalyn: Now everyone can see how truly multi-talented my brother is! Thanks to Rand for guest blogging so I could recover slightly from my trip before re-entering my hectic blogging/teaching schedule. Check back tomorrow and I'll report on what I've been doing in St. Louis with one of my favorite food blog friends. If you're looking for Weekend Herb Blogging, Ruth has posted a wonderful recap of great herb recipes for WHB #53.
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More to Chew On:


  1. In Boston here we'd be Sttaahvin' ;)

  2. Oh Kalyn, I missed the WHB because I had no Internet access since Friday. So I'll blog the entry for the next WHB ;-)

  3. Stunning photography! I love lettuce wraps, they're very much a part of the Korean diet, I must give this recipe a try :)

  4. Rand, thanks for filling in for Kalyn. I loved reading your post!

  5. Beautiful, and funny to boot. At my house, it's "Hey, that's getting cold, you realize."

  6. The pictures are amazing, they are making me hungry.

  7. If I promise to say, I'm Staaarving and lie about my age another couple decades down, will you please make these for me, you know, like, maybe, could you, tonight? PS Were you ears burning, Brother Rand?

  8. I have heard that "can we eat yet"theme song in the background while I take snaps...:)

  9. Boy does this look great....I love foods like this.....Happy Cooking

  10. Hi Everyone,
    Now you can see why I call him "my uber-talented brother."

  11. kalyn your photos look great! St. Louis looked like a lot of fun. we still need to get together!

  12. This is funny (to me). I keep telling myself to make a good lettuce wrap recipe, because I like them very much. I was just thinking that last week. So--this reminds me to do it! It looks wonderful

  13. Kalyn, is there any non-alcoholic substitute you can recommend for the dry sherry?
    Thanks, Sophia

  14. This is my brother's recipe, but I'd probably just use a bit of rice vinegar.

  15. Hey, I attempted something to this effect last night. my main goal was to find a mock version of the hot sauce, which I love.

    Here is what I ended up with that tasted pretty darn close and was still AWESOME:

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp Franks Red Hot sauce
    1 tsp dijon mustard

    Worked awesome and SB friendly!

  16. Ariadne, sounds great to me! I've been thinking about experimenting with lettuce wraps again.

  17. I made this tonight (found via Food Blog Search) and it was a hit. I thought the addition of orange zest was especially interesting, I never would have thought of adding it but it complemented the flavors very nicely. Thanks!

  18. Amy, thanks. I will pass it on to Rand!

  19. hi,

    I lost my most fab chicken in lettuce cups recipe and after looking at so many on the web, yours looked to include most of the ingredients mine did...only problem was that I couldnt fine any measurements! and with all those liquids, much less the corn starch, I really need the amts.

    can you add them?

  20. Susan, sorry but my brother Rand made the lettuce wraps and he never measures. And since I didn't even see them, I don't know the measurements.

    I do have this recipe for Asian Lettuce Wraps which a lot of people have liked.


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