Updated: May 10, 2021
Looking for a healthy, low carb meal that is bursting with a ton of flavor?
The Asian-inspired "filling" in this dish consists of simple ingredients: lean ground chicken, diced red bell peppers, water chestnuts, green onion, shitake mushrooms, orange zest, garlic, and ginger.
Pile spoonfuls of this yummy mixture into lettuce leaves – like a burrito – for a simple, yet flavorful, 30-minute family-style meal.
The week following Thanksgiving is always a hard one for me.
For what seems to be a week or more of cooking (and eating) an abundance of carb-heavy dishes, I crave something light and healthy – yet fast and easy to make. This recipe is perfect.
When I think of Chinese lettuce wraps, I always think of the popular appetizer at P.F. Chang's.
The copycat version that I found during my research uses hoisin sauce (which is a fermented bean paste that gives the chicken the quintessential Chinese-American flavor), soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame or oil.
I made some modifications to these ingredients due to my dietary restrictions. Kikkoman makes a gluten-free hoisin sauce, but it is near impossible to find at any of my local grocery stores. So, I have included a recipe for a homemade (gluten-free) hoisin sauce below. However, if you and your family do not have any restrictions, feel free to use the original ingredient.
To get started, you will want to dice all your veggies. I try to cut them so they are relatively the same size. Next, preheat a large skillet or wok to high. Add the oil to the hot pan (I used peanut oil but you can also vegetable oil). Add the ground chicken (you can also use ground turkey) and sear the meat by stir-frying a few minutes or until it is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the minced garlic and ginger. Cook a minute more. Grate the orange zest into the pan, then add red bell pepper, chopped water chestnuts (they add the perfect amount of crunch), and scallions. Cook another minute, continuing to stir-fry the mixture. Finally, add hoisin sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly.
To serve, transfer the filling to a large serving platter with a pile of large leafy lettuce (leaves separated), orange wedges (squeeze the fresh juice on top), fresh chopped cilantro, and lots of napkins!
This recipe makes 4 servings.
Let's get cooking!
Gluten-free hoisin sauce:
8 tablespoons gluten-free tamari (I used tamarind puree)
5 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons gluten-free chili paste, depending on how spicy you want it
2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
2 tablespoons light-colored oil, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil
Coarse salt and coarse black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch ginger root, finely chopped or grated, optional
1 orange, zested
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 small tin, 6 to 8 ounces, sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, for gluten-free (see my recipe above)
Large leafy lettuce, separated (I used Bibb lettuce leaves)
Wedges of navel orange for platter garnish
How to make
Gluten-free hoisin sauce:
Bring all the ingredients to a boil over medium heat.
If using tamarind puree you may need to add 2-3 tablespoons of water to reach the desired consistency.
Once boiling, turn heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes, until sauce slightly thickens, stirring occasionally.
Let cool to room temperature.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Preheat a large skillet or wok to high.
Add the oil to the hot pan.
Add the ground chicken and sear the meat by stir-frying a few minutes or until it is cooked through.
Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the minced garlic and ginger.
Cook a minute more.
Grate the orange zest into the pan, then add red bell pepper, chopped water chestnuts, and scallions.
Cook another minute, continuing to stir-fry mixture.
Add hoisin sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly.
Transfer filling to a large serving platter with a pile of large leafy lettuce (leaves separated), orange wedges, and fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.
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