LC Better Than You'd Remembered Note
You know how sometimes you try to recreate a restaurant classic at home and it doesn’t work? And you’re left only with bittersweet memories and dashed dreams? This isn’t one of those times. We were grinning like idiots as we crammed these delicate lettuce cups into our mouths. We found no room for improvement, save perhaps a dash of Sriracha or other hot sauce for those who like things a little less than tame. We can also see taking these little lovelies to work with us for lunch on those days when we really need something to look forward to all morning.
Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4 to 6
Combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 10 seconds. Add the onion, water chestnuts, and mushrooms, if using, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Carefully tilt the wok to swirl the oil and coat the surface. Add the chicken and cook until no trace of pink remains, about 1 minute. Return the cooked vegetable mixture to the wok and decrease the heat to medium-low. Give the sauce mixture a quick stir to recombine, then add it to the wok. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is warm and the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.
Spoon the filling in equal amounts into the lettuce cups. Top each lettuce cup with a sprinkle of cilantro and cashews or peanuts. Serve warm with the instructions that this is a cup and not necessarily a wrap, so simply gather the bundle up with your fingertips or cup it in your palm and take a bite.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
These lettuce cups were so good. The flavors were fantastic. There was just enough sweet to balance the soy sauce. I couldn’t even tell it was “light” soy sauce. The cashews gave these lovely cups just the right touch of crunch. I chose to use fresh shiitake mushrooms and to mince the chicken myself, and I was pleased to find this didn’t take long at all, although I’m looking forward to trying the food processor method next time. However, I’d be inclined to mince the mushroom filling separate from the chicken so I could cook them separately, as the recipe states. This is a fun recipe with excellent flavor that my entire family enjoyed.
As my daughter said, “these were awesome.” I've never had lettuce cups at a restaurant, but I've always meant to try them. Once you prep all your ingredients, it's a breeze to put together. After we ate our first one my daughter suggested we add a few drops of Sriracha sauce and we enjoyed them that way, too. In fact, my daughter said she liked them better with the Sriracha. They’re a bit messy to eat, but so worth it. We minced everything with a knife instead of using the food processor, and I liked the texture this way. The cold, crisp lettuce was a perfect bed for the hot, cooked filling and the crunchy cashews. I couldn't find unsalted cashews so I got lightly salted instead. I don't have a wok but my trusty cast-iron skillet worked perfectly. I know we'll be eating these again. We might add bean sprouts next time.