Asian Inspiration- Lettuce Wrap Salad

Do you love lettuce wraps? Do you love foods the mix sweet and sour, hot and cold? Do you like to have texture and variety of flavor in your food WITH ONLY THREE DISHES? Then this is for you!

I’ve apparently been on an Asian kick this week. I started with Thai Basil Chicken. Last night, I adventured to China. I was looking for another 20-minute friendly meal, and I found one in this salad. I loved that it used many ingredients that we have right in our pantries or many of the same special ingredients in multiple ways throughout the dish. I also liked that this recipe was very flexible. For example, the version I am attaching called for cashews. I totally forgot to get any sort of nut, so I just omitted it. Other reviews I read subbed in peanuts or walnuts or pistachios, etc. Since I didn’t have that crunch, I just added cucumber to my salad- same crunch effect, no emergency grocery store run needed. It also is totally flexible when it comes to the protein used. The recipe calls for ground chicken. My local grocery store has that, but it is usually very expensive. I subbed in lean ground beef (a sale item this week) and it was just fine. I could also see ground turkey being EXCELLENT in this. You just don’t want there to be a ton of fat in the pan or the sauce will be greasy.


Asian Lettuce Wrap Salad

Ingredients:

FOR THE SALAD DRESSING:

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons veggie or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt and pepper

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground chicken (sub away!)
  • 8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped unsalted cashews (again, sub away!)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

FOR THE SALAD:

  • Your favorite CRUNCHY salad green (I went for romaine)
  • Carrots, shredded (if desired)
  • Cucumber (I liked the sweet to balance out the salty tangy sauce and it gave some crunch)

Steps:

  1. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oils, honey, ginger, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Set the dressing aside.
  2. For the meat: In a medium bowl, whisk together the hoisin, vinegar, Sriracha, soy sauce, and ginger. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray then add the meat and cook until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the water chestnuts and nuts to the pan. Pour the reserved hoisin mixture on top and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through. Stir in the scallions. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. For the salad: In a large salad bowl, combine both of the greens. Toss the salad with the dressing and divide among 4 bowls. Top each with 3/4 cup meat mixture. Serve immediately.
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