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Asian lettuce cups with caramelized chicken

Recipe by:Joan Leineke Catering Co., Sacramento


  • 16 large butter lettuce leaves (for best presentation, choose butter lettuce heads that come with roots attached)
    1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, trimmed into 1/2-inch cubes
    1 tbsp. plus 1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 tbsp. plus 2 tbsp. fish sauce
    2 tbsp. rice vinegar
    1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 small shallot, minced
    4 tbsp. peanut or canola oil, divided use
    4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 red bell pepper, cored, seeds and veins removed, and thinly sliced
    2 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 jalapeño pepper, minced
    1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
    Freshly cracked pepper


Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter. Marinate chicken in 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. fish sauce and rice vinegar until dissolved. Add ginger, garlic and shallots.

Heat a large frying pan on high heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Add chicken. Allow to sear for a couple of minutes and add sauce. Let chicken caramelize and sauce thicken. When chicken is cooked through, remove to a large bowl.

In a medium pan over high heat, add remaining 2 tbsp. oil. Add mushrooms and bell peppers. Sauté until just barely cooked and add to the bowl with the chicken.

Spoon chicken into lettuce leaves, dividing evenly. Garnish with onions, jalapeños, sesame seeds and pepper. Roll leaves around filling to serve.

Makes 16 wraps

Califonia Bountiful