Chef John's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and minced
  • 1 cup diced shiitake mushroom caps
  • ½ cup minced yellow onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped green onion, or to taste
  • 16 leaves iceberg lettuce, or as needed
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Stir chicken, water chestnuts, mushrooms, yellow onion, 1/3 cup green onion, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ginger, and 2 teaspoons brown sugar together in a bowl. Pat mixture down, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

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  • Step 2

    Whisk chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ketchup, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and dry mustard together in a bowl until glaze is well-mixed.

  • Step 3

    Heat vegetable oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook and stir chicken mixture in hot oil until chicken no longer looks raw, about 2 minutes. Pour 1/2 of the glaze mixture into chicken mixture; cook and stir over high heat until chicken begins to caramelize and brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Reduce heat to medium-low, pour remaining glaze into chicken mixture, and cook until heated through and slightly reduced, about 3 minutes more. Stir in cilantro, basil, and 1 1/2 tablespoons green onion. Transfer chicken mixture to a bowl and serve with lettuce leaves to wrap.

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