There are some days when I just don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking the family dinner, and for this reason I keep quick and easy recipes on hand that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and will please all the palates at the table. This recipe, modified from Sunset magazine, is part of that repertoire.
Originally prepared for me by my good friend Jen Leo, it requires only 5-10 minutes of prep time and is ready to serve in about 25 minutes. I often double the recipe to use for lunches, which definitely impresses the co-workers.
While the recipe calls for ground chicken, you can also use ground bison or lean ground pork. Bison is becoming more available across the U.S. and the majority of American bison is grass-fed and privately—not mass—produced. Overall, bison is leaner than ground beef and contains more iron, as well as less calories and cholesterol.
Asian Lettuce Cups
1 pound lean ground chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons Asian black bean sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (plus extra for serving)
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced (both white and green)
1 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 large head butter lettuce, separated into leaves
Sriracha chili sauce
Heat oil in large fry pan over medium heat. Add meat, ginger and garlic, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Fry until meat is just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, break apart a head of butter lettuce, rinsing off the individual leaves, and drying on paper towels. Dab off excess water with paper towel and place leaves on a plate.
When meat is cooked, add black bean sauce and hoisin and stir just until combined. Stir in water chestnuts and onions and cook for one minute to heat through. Take off the heat, and mix in the cilantro.
Spoon mixture into a serving bowl. Serve with chopped peanuts, hoisin, and sriracha on the side.
To assemble, take one lettuce leave and smear with hoisin or Sriracha, top with meat and peanuts, fold in half and enjoy!