Joe worked at P.F. Chang's in college and I ate more lettuce wraps and Great Walls of Chocolate over the course of that year than a single person should in a lifetime. I can't imagine why I would wake up puffy from head to toe after consuming 87% of the recommended daily sodium intake in a single meal....
Anywho, I remain as devoted to the love of lettuce wraps now as I was then. The only difference is that now, 2,090mg of sodium would send me into cardiac arrest. So, after much experimentation, I've finally settled on a lettuce wrap recipe that satisfies my nostalgia but doesn't make me resemble a blow-fish the next morning.
*Please note that you can tweak this recipe to your liking very easily. Don't eat chicken? Substitute organic turkey. Hate cilantro? Leave it out-- though I'm not sure how anyone could hate cilantro. Seems preposterous to me.
**If you're sitting there wondering what makes these THAI lettuce wraps, I suppose it's the lemongrass and cilantro and thai chilis I use to garnish. However, if the truth must be told, I find Thai food far superior to Chinese food so, in the name of the power of labeling, I called them Thai because it just sounds better.
Thai-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps
for the filling:
1 lb organic ground chicken
1 can diced water chestnuts
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp lemongrass paste (optional)
1/2 red onion, diced
3/4 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded carrot (I was out of carrots that day but I typically add them)
1 cup cilantro, chopped, divided for serving
3 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 head organic iceberg lettuce
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp sambal paste
3 tbsp coconut aminos/tamari/soy sauce
4-5 dashes of fish sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce (I will omit this when I am on Whole30)
chopped salted peanuts
sliced thai chili or jalapeño
toasted sesame seeds
your favorite kimchi
How to do it:
In a large skillet, sweat the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and onion in the tablespoon of coconut oil. Next, add the chicken to brown. As chicken is cooking, drain your water chestnuts and make the sauce. When the chicken is completely cooked, add the water chestnuts, mung bean sprouts, shredded carrots, cilantro, and scallions.
Add half to three-quarters of the sauce and mix well. Use the remaining sauce for serving
Serve in iceberg lettuce leaves with your favorite toppings.