How To Make Stir Fried Chicken In Lettuce Leaves

How To Make Stir Fried Chicken In Lettuce Leaves

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When attending Chinese banquets growing up, stir fried chicken in lettuce leaves was always one of my favorite dishes. The kids around the table would have a good laugh as we struggled to corral our lettuce leaves stuffed with filling. Today, it’s special to recreate that memory at home.

This dish is a southern Chinese classic and the savory combination of chicken, pork and dried mushrooms will feel similar to the flavors in other regional dim sum, fried rice and noodle dishes. The dried mushrooms, in particular, carry a rich umami flavor that immediately reminds me of the Cantonese cooking style.

With familiar flavors at its heart, this dish remains distinctive due to the contrast between the warm filling and the cold lettuce leaves. The crunch and freshness of the lettuce mellows the intensity of the other ingredients and just makes it a lot of fun to eat.

I should mention that the versatility of this recipe’s ingredients lets me create one of my favorite leftover breakfasts. If you stir fry the filling with some day old rice and top with a fried egg, you can make a delicious and hearty breakfast. You heard it here first.

Here’s how to make stir fried chicken in lettuce leaves, step-by-step. The detailed tutorial with pictures and directions is at the bottom of the page.

Your turn! What tips can you share from your family’s recipe? Want to ask a question before you start cooking? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!


Stir Fried Chicken in Lettuce Leaves Recipe

Makes: 4-6 Servings | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

9 lettuce leaves
6 ounces chicken breast meat
12 ounces ground pork
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
6 dried Chinese mushrooms
1 cup water chestnuts
4 tablespoons oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons chicken stock

Directions

1. Soak the dried Chinese mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess water, remove the stems and chop finely.

2. Mince the chicken and combine with the ground pork, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the rice wine and 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a bowl. Toss lightly and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

3. Roughly chop the water chestnuts.

4. Heat a pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir fry the meat mixture until brown, then remove and drain.

5. Reheat the pan over high heat and add another 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir fry the ginger and green onion for 10 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for 10 seconds. Finally, add the water chestnuts and stir fry for another 10 seconds.

6. Combine the remaining soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil with the salt, sugar, cornstarch and chicken stock. Add the sauce mixture to the pan and stir, then add the cooked meat mixture and toss lightly to coat.

7. To serve, place spoonfuls of the meat mixture in a lettuce leaf, then roll up and eat.


Step-By-Step Tutorial

Start by gathering your ingredients. The important items for this recipe are chicken, ground pork, water chestnuts, dried Chinese mushrooms and soft lettuce leaves. Note that I’m using cooked chicken breast here as part of my Weeknight Magic: 1 Chicken, 5 Delicious Dinners meal plan, but you will generally use raw meat.

Soak the dried Chinese mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes, then squeeze out excess water and remove the stems.

Mince the chicken and roughly chop both the water chestnuts and the mushrooms.

Combine the chicken, ground pork, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the rice wine and 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a bowl. Toss lightly and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

(Note: Because I’m working with cooked chicken here, I did not add it to the pork mixture.)

Heat a pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir fry the meat mixture until brown, then remove and drain.

Reheat the pan over high heat and add another 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir fry the ginger and green onion for 10 seconds.

Add the mushrooms and stir fry for 10 seconds. Finally, add the water chestnuts and stir fry for another 10 seconds.

Combine the remaining soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil with the salt, sugar, cornstarch and chicken stock. Add the sauce mixture to the pan and stir.

Finally, add the cooked meat mixture and toss lightly to coat.

To serve, place spoonfuls of the meat mixture in a lettuce leaf, then roll up and eat.

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