My mom and I were talking about lettuce wraps the other day (because what do YOU talk about with YOUR mom??) and I said, “I’ve never met a lettuce wrap I didn’t like.” Truer words have never been spoken. I feel like this is the thing that should go on a sign hanging on the wall in my kitchen. Because, you guys: I LOVE CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS.
The Pei Wei Lettuce Wraps are perhaps my favorite, but I will eat any lettuce wrap you give me. Know this.
Even though I am the girl who eats ice cream in winter (because: ICE CREAM) and hot lettuce wraps in summer, I thought it might be refreshing to try my hand at a cool lettuce wraps recipe. I feel like this falls somewhere between that asian cole slaw recipe people make (you know the one with the broken up crunchy ramen and almonds in it? yumm) and chicken lettuce wraps.
It ticked off all the lovely asian-fusion flavors for me, but had the coolness you think of with a nice chicken salad in summer. (But don’t think too hard about regular chicken salad because thinking about mayo and then thinking of this recipe grosses me out. But if you want plain old chicken salad with mayo, that is lovely too, so here’s my recipe for chicken salad.)
This turned out so well that I ate it for all the meals (even breakfast) until it was gone. My kids ate it, my husband ate it, but mostly I ate it.
You could really make this with any sort of fully cooked chicken, but I let my chicken breasts cook in the crock pot with this Korean BBQ sauce (which I LOVE and should be in the Asian aisle of your grocery store). I chopped the chicken really fine and then added more sauce, plus slivered almonds, cilantro, and those lovely crunchy lo men noodles (though you could also use ramen, or be boring and leave them out altogether).
I served it on that soft Bibb lettuce, but after I ate through that (I did mention that I ate ALL of this, right?) I used regular iceberg, which was fine too. Squeeze a bit of fresh lime on top and oooooooo! A thing of beauty.
- 3 cooked chicken breasts, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 cup crunchy lo mein noodles
- 1/2 cup Korean BBQ sauce
- lettuce pieces for wrapping
- 1 lime
- sesame oil
- Dice the cooked chicken, carrots, and almonds and soak it in the Korean BBQ sauce. I used probably 1/4-1/2 a cup. Enough that it's covered, but not soupy. Let sit for 10 or so minutes. Add a few spoonfuls into each lettuce cup and top with cilantro, crunchy lo mein noodles, and a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of sesame oil.
I will state again that I will still eat ice cream in winter and hot lettuce wraps in summer, but this was a truly refreshing take on the chicken lettuce wraps I normally eat. I can still safely say that I have never met a lettuce wrap that I didn’t like. Now who wants to make me a sign?
As mentioned in the recipe, you really should go buy Sesame Chili Oil. It’s my favorite thing right now on EVERYTHING. Maybe not chocolate cake. Or…maybe I just haven’t found the RIGHT chocolate cake!
For another great (and off-the-beaten-path) summer recipe, try my Watermelon Gazpacho. It sounds and is totally weird, but IS TOTALLY AMAZING WEIRD. I crave this soup, you guys.
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