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Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps!

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Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps - a fun & healthy dinner!

Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt
If you like lettuce wraps, try this wonderful Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe! Based on the traditional Thai dish, Basil Chicken, this dish is brimming with taste and is fun to eat. Have all your ingredients chopped and ready to go, then the cooking is literally only a few minutes. Set the hot filling and cool lettuce leaves out on the table, then have your friends and family wrap their own. Makes a crunchy-delicious dinner that is very satisfying, or serve it as a special appetizer for a dinner party. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Ingredients:

  • SERVES 2-3 as a Main Course, or 4-6 as an appetizer
  • 1-2 heads iceburg lettuce (other types of lettuce tend to be messy and harder to wrap)
  • approx. 1 lb. (0.48 kg) chicken for stir-frying, cut into thin strips
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 cup purple onion), finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushroom, chopped
  • 1-2 red chilies, minced OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. crushed dried chili OR cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped just before adding (see tip below recipe), OR substitute sweet Italian basil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp. cool water
  • STIR-FRY SAUCE:
  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce (I used Golden Dragon brand)
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. Golden Mountain Sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian stores)
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice (plus more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Preparation:

  1. Place all stir-fry sauce ingredients together in a cup. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Set near the stove. Also have your chicken stock ready for stir-frying.
  2. Cut out the core of the lettuce(s) to make separating the leaves easier. Gently separate and place leaves on a plate in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  3. Drizzle a little oil into a wok or large frying pan set over medium-high heat. Add the shallot/onion and garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds).
  4. Add the chicken and stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until nearly cooked. When wok/pan becomes dry, add enough chicken stock to create a good sizzle (2-3 Tbsp. at a time).
  5. Add the mushrooms and chili. Continue stir-frying another 1-2 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.
  6. Now add the red pepper, stir-fry sauce, plus any remaining chicken stock. Stir-fry another 1-2 minutes, until pepper is bright red but still on the crisp side.
  7. Add the bean sprouts and gently fold them in for 30 seconds to 1 minute (you want to retain their crispness).
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and push ingredients to the side of the wok to reveal the sauce. Add the cornstach mixture, stirring until sauce has thickened.
  9. Remove stir-fry from heat and fold in the chopped basil leaves (see basil tip below recipe).
  10. Taste-test the dish, adding up to 1 more Tbsp. lime juice if too salty (the saltiness will depend on the type of stock you're using). If not salty enough, add more fish sauce. If not spicy enough, add more chili.
  11. Place this hot basil chicken stir-fry on the table together with the lettuce leaves on the side, and let everyone put together their own wraps. Note that lettuce wraps can be a tad messy, but that's half the fun (just be sure to serve with plenty of napkins). ENJOY!

Optional Toppings: Although these lettuce wraps are delicious as is, you can also serve any of the following toppings in bowls on the side: more fresh basil, fresh coriander, sliced green onion, crushed peanuts, chili pepper, or crispy noodles. If you'd like to serve these wraps with a side sauce, try either hoisin sauce or Thai sweet chili sauce.

*Basil Cutting Tip: To get the most flavor out of your basil leaves: keep them refrigerated until ready to add. Then stack the leaves together (one on top of the other, as many as you can) and roll the stack up (from tip to stem or sidelong). Now thinly slice the roll to create thin shreads of basil. Add these shreds to your dish for the most flavorful results!

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