This is the second installation of Blog Film Food, a series with a great group of bloggers in which we pick a film and have a virtual dinner and a movie. Everyone creates a recipe loosely inspired by the movie and we all share our recipes. Last month we watched Steel Magnolias and had a host of great Southern foods to try. This month we have The Karate Kid and I made Chicken Lettuce Wraps so good there were no leftovers. At the bottom you’ll find links to other great bloggers and recipes. Also, please forgive the photos and the lack of more—when we moved, I misplaced my camera battery charger and it’s, well, dead.
Who were your childhood crushes? Mine were, in no particular order: He Man (yes, the cartoon), Peter Venkman (also a cartoon), Anthony Michael Hall in 16 Candles, Corey Haim AND Corey Feldman, Christian Slater (who lived in poster form above my bed for a few months), and Ralph Macchio. The final scene of The Karate Kid lives in my brain permanently, where the adorable Ralph Macchio is favoring his one leg, hopping around and moving into the crane (is it the crane?) position. (Nevermind that no one would possibly fall for such an obvious move.) In my head, I hear swelling music and these quotes: “Sweep the leg, Johnny! No mercy!” Despite the believability factor of that final scene, it’s epic. And totally crush-worthy.
Are you with me?
The past few years there has been a trend of calling food sexy, and while I TOTALLY hate that, I do think food can be crush-worthy. A crush involves a little bit of obsession. You can’t stop thinking about it. You think about it multiple times a day. The only thing that satisfies you is seeing your crush. Maybe it’s just me, but I DEFINITELY get that way about food. Once I get a craving for something, I can’t stop thinking about it. I will drive out of my way to get it. It’s an obsession.
One of my favorite food crushes from the past few years is Pei Wei’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Fresh, spicy, flavorful, and surprisingly low in calories. And the cool crunch of lettuce to round it all out. And being a sort of Asian fusion dish, it seemed like a great fit for Karate Kid. For a few years I tried to recreate the recipe at home, going with my own instincts and using copycat recipes online, but nothing came that close. Sometimes the best idea is to give up the dream of that perfect taste and create your own. Which I did. I used this recipe as a kind of jumping off point, but didn’t love some of the sauces and added more stuff. Do I ever stick to recipes? Nope.
Both my kids devoured this, and despite using like 6 chicken breasts, the four of us totally finished this dish. Gone. So beware! You may not need a container for leftovers.
- 4-6 chicken breasts
- 1 head lettuce
- 1 small can water chestnuts
- 1 large can bamboo shoots
- 2 carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 package mushrooms
- 2 T garlic
- 2-3 T oil (olive or coconut)
- 1/3 cup Tamari Soy Sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 T rice wine vinegar
- Peanut Sauce or Sweet Garlic Chili Sauce for Topping
- Trim fat from chicken, pat dry, and cook in 1 T oil on medium high for 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove from pan and let cool.
- Meanwhile, try to dice all the veggies to the same size and combine the stir fry sauce. Heat the remaining 1-2 T of oil in a wok or large pan (I used a cast-iron skillet). Cook onions and carrot until they soften, then toss int he rest of the veggies and garlic and cook over medium high heat. Dice the chicken into pieces similar in size to the veggies and add to the pan. Pour in the stir fry sauce and cook until everything is coated and heated through.
- Serve in pieces of lettuce and top with the sweet chili or peanut sauce.
- -If you aren't sure where to find some of the ingredients, I got the water chestnuts, baby corn, and the two sauces (peanut and sweet chili) in the Asian section of the international aisle.
- -I prefer tamari gluten free soy sauce because rather than having wheat as a major ingredient, it sticks to soy, salt, and water. It is more potent and flavorful than the regular, wheat-filled soy.
- -Feel free to take out some veggies or add others that sound like a good fit to you.
- -Have napkins handy; it's messy!
I feel like this is a very versatile recipe and you could try different toppings (I was craving crushed peanuts and cilantro like Pad Thai) or veggies inside. The more veggies, the better the crunch! And as I noted in the recipe box, use Tamari soy for everything and toss out your regular soy sauce. You won’t want to go back once you try it, and it’s usually readily available next to the regular old soy you’re used to. I could drink it. It’s amazing.
Now you should probably head over to see what the other ladies of #blogfilmfood have made! Dust off your copy of The Karate Kid, pick a recipe (or a few) and enjoy your evening!
Involuntary Housewife- Blueberry Cheesecake Spring Rolls
Penney Lane Kitchen- Flank Steak Kabobs
Meal Planning Magic- Shrimp and Pork Spring Rolls
The Grant Life- Caramel Banana Wontons
Family Fun Journal- Homemade Sesame Candy
Moms Confession- Chicken Lo Mein