I got on an Asian kick this week thanks to my friend, who is Vietnamese, telling me her mom would be coming up soon and was planning to take us to the Asian grocery store and then teach us some of her favorite dishes. She didn't come up this week but still, all I could think about cooking was Asian inspired meals. I'm starting this week out with a top-notch appetizer and I'll follow it up with an Entrée on Wednesday and then close out the week with dessert. Asian Week on The Barnyard Bistro begins now...
From P.F. Chang's to Pei Wei to O Asian Fusion (our local spot) my number one appetizer to order is chicken lettuce wraps. Something about the sweet and tangy chicken wrapped in a crispity crunchity lettuce wrap makes my mouth water. This version is easy to make at home and makes a perfect mid-day snack as left-overs the next day!
1 lb ground chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (or 2 tsp of ginger paste)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 head butter or iceberg lettuce (leaves separated, washed and dried)
Brown the chicken in a skillet breaking it into tiny pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add in the water chestnuts and green onion; toss to distribute. In a bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the lettuce. Toss to distribute sauce evenly and let cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to let the flavors incorporate into the chicken. Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and serve with leaves of lettuce (to be used as wraps)