|Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups
1 TBS hoisin sauce
2-3 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp shao xing (Chinese Rice Wine), or Sake or Sherry
1 tsp dark soy sauce, or soy sauce
1 tsp agave or heaping tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns (aka Sansho) or black pepper
Wraps and Garnish:
1 head Bibb lettuce, separated washed and dried
2 small carrots, shredded/cut into matchsticks
2 inches of cucumber, seeded & shredded/cut into matchsticks
1 ball bean noodles, separated and fried (optional)
1 tsp canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp minced ginger
1 pound ground pork, chicken, turkey or a combination
- or 1 pound of hand minced chicken thigh
2 scallions, minced
1 small can water chestnuts, minced
¼ cup minced red bell pepper
Combine seasoning ingredients and warm to marry - taste and adjust for a hotter or sweeter sauce. Set aside.
Prepare wraps and garnishes. Separate and wash lettuce - arrange on a serving tray. Shred carrots and arrange on tray. Split and seed cucumber, slice into thin slivers and arrange on tray. Sliver green onions on an extreme bias and arrange on tray. Fry bean noodles (optional) heat a small saucepan at least 1 inch deep with canola oil. Separate noodles and fry in small batches to quickly puff, about 5 seconds. Drain on paper towels and reserve in a separate bowl.
Preheat a large wok or frying pan over high flame - be sure to have all ingredients ready and waiting next to the pot. Add oil and carefully add garlic and ginger and sizzle. Add ground meats and chop/stir fry to separate. When color changes, add scallions, water chestnuts and bell pepper, stir-fry to marry. Add seasoning sauce (a little at a time to taste) and continue to cook over high heat to caramelize and finish, just a few minutes depending on temperature.
Transfer meat to a serving bowl and serve in lettuce cups with garnishes and remaining sauce on the side. Sriracha sauce or hot chile oil can also be served for the spice lovers.
- Chef Mick (Michaelangelo) Rosacci, www.TonysMarket.com -- www.TonyRosacciCatering.com