Lettuce Entertain You

photo 1Sometimes it’s hard to keep in touch with people back home. When I’m waking up, everyone on the other side of the planet is still fast asleep. So having a text conversation can be difficult at times. My friend, Sue, and I try to work around it. Recently, she started sending me pictures of food she’s made for her get togethers. To stay better connected, I began making some of the dishes she’s been showing me. I pretend I’m on a scavenger hunt as I search high and low for items around the city. I don’t mind. I’m finding new places to shop.

The hardest item I had trouble with were the water chestnuts because here they are known as Wasserkastanien – and the Chinese lady I asked only spoke Chinese and German. No trace of English. Imagine that?! I did manage to understand her response with the word “unter” so I knew I could find it “under” something but where? It took me a few more minutes circling the aisles before she noticed I was lost. Oh, the impressions I make…

Just make sure you have everything prepped (mise en place) before starting because the cooking part goes fast, 10 minutes maybe. It’s an easy recipe, great as an appetizer and definitely, a delicious low carb dish to share! I don’t know if Sue and I used the same recipe but I sure did try to make mine as delicious as hers looked.

Lettuce Wraps

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound/500 grams ground chicken

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1 onion, diced (I forgot to buy an onion, so I doubled up on the green onion instead)

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste

1 (8-ounce) can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

salt and pepper, to taste

1 head butter lettuce (I used mini-Romaine), leaves washed and dried

IMG_2868Here are the ingredients I used except I forgot to include the protein here. The recipe calls for ground chicken, but I used 500 grams of mixed ground beef and ground pork because that is what I could find.DSC07288In case you have not seen what water chestnuts look like, here they are diced.DSC07292Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Crumble and brown the ground protein of your choice until no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes. Drain the fat.

DSC07293Add minced garlic and freshly grated ginger.DSC07294Add hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and Sriracha sauce; cook 1 -2 minutes.DSC07296Stir in water chestnuts and green onions until onions are tender, about 1 -2 minutes.DSC07297 Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

DSC07299We like to add extra crunch by adding cashews on the side, but this is completely optional. photo 2 Spoon several tablespoons of the mixture into the center of lettuce.

Now pass the Sriracha sauce and talk amongst yourselves. Y’all enjoy and feel free to share your favorite recipes with me. I’m always happy to try something new!

From Copycat PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps


2 thoughts on “Lettuce Entertain You

  1. Hello chef Vern, i can smell your cooking all the way here in Canada.
    i love this finger food, it’s easy to make and so delish.
    keep on cooking, next time take a picture of the item you’re looking for so you can just show it to the storekeepers. lol.
    keep on having fun.


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