Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Sesame Noodles

Asian-inspired cooking is really one of my favorites.  I love the flavors, and love how healthy most of these meals are.  They are easy to customize, as well, if you have dietary requirements.  And, it’s easy which means you can do it yourself and skip the takeout!

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I like making lettuce wraps with either ground beef or ground chicken; this time I used ground chicken since that is what was in the fridge (you can’t be picky these days since we’re in a global pandemic).  I also prefer using butter lettuce, but all I had on hand was iceberg so that works just fine (plus it’s nice and crunchy!)  And, don’t forget the toppings – chili sauce is my favorite, but to spice it up, you can reach for the sriracha.

For the sesame noodles, I had white rice spaghetti in my pantry, so I used that.  You can use regular spaghetti or linguini, or even ramen noodles if you those.  Unlike the sauces I make for stir-fry, there is no need to thicken this sauce with starch, since there is plenty of starch in the noodles; it will thicken as you heat it up in the pan.  Experiment and add more or less of the seasonings to customize to a flavor you like, just be careful with the sesame oil because it has a strong flavor and a little can go a long way.

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Ground Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 lb ground chicken
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1” piece of fresh ginger root, minced
2 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
¼ teaspoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
¼ peanuts, crushed

chili sauce or sriracha, if desired

Several pieces of lettuce separated and cleaned (iceberg, butter, or romaine)

Add the canola and sesame oils to a large pan, swirling to combine.  Brown the ground chicken with the garlic, ginger, and green onion over medium high heat until cooked through.  Add the hoisin, fish, and soy sauces with the rice wine vinegar, stir to combine cooking over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.  When ready to serve, remove from heat and stir in the crushed peanuts.  Spoon filling into pieces of lettuce when you are ready to eat – don’t do this ahead of time or the lettuce will become soggy!  I like to serve the filling in a bowl and the lettuce on a platter and allow guests to make their own lettuce wraps.  Also, add chili sauce or sriracha on top to make them extra good!

Sesame Noodles

1 16 oz package of pasta (I used white rice spaghetti noodles)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup chicken or veggie broth
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
1 green onion, minced
Sesame seeds (I used regular and black for a little extra color)

Cook noodles in salted boiling water according to package instructions.  Drain and rinse.

Whisk together the next 8 items.  Place the noodles in a large non-stick skillet, pour the sauce over the noodles and using a tongs, toss to coat the noodles.  Turn the burner on to medium/medium high and gently toss the noodles, cooking until the sauce is thickened.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.  Serve immediately.

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Sesame Noodles – so good!

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