Sriracha-Chili Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Makes for a complete meal or a fun appetizer!
I am a sucker for lettuce wraps when I see them on a menu! The tasty chicken mixed with all the different toppings snuggled into a crispy piece of lettuce, it's a perfect treat that's on the health-ier side (when compared to my other appetizers of choice e.g. chicken wings and poutine! lol)
I've tried a variety of recipes over the years but this one is now my go-to! I use chopped chicken thighs because I prefer this texture compared to that of ground chicken/turkey. You can use chicken breast too which would be just as yum! But the secret ingredient to these lettuce wraps is the addition of the quick pickled cucumber! The vinegar-y cucumbers add the right amount of acidity to cut through the rich sriarchi chili chicken. I also just eat them on their own! Love the crunch and refreshing taste :) My mom used to make these when I was younger, we would have them with bbq'd or fried meats and they are a perfect compliment to these type of dishes too.
The other additional topping that I used with this recipe is the crispy rice noodle. These are pretty easy to make (although I made a mess in my kitchen cutting these up... I'm still finding pieces of tiny noodles days after!).
Like the title says, this recipe is easily a meal on it's own. It made enough for a dinner for two AND there was still leftovers for lunch the next day. Also, this recipe would be a fun appetizer for a small dinner party or summer bbq - your guests will love it!
Scroll down for more pictures & the step by step recipe :)
Calm before the storm >_< A look at some of the ingredients for these crispy chicken lettuce wraps!
Laying out the different toppings and the pre-washed & dried lettuce leaves makes for a festive presentation on your dinner table. Guests can then create their own wrap!
The cucumbers were neatly laid across the top corner for the pictures. But when it came time to eat, I just covered the entire top of my lettuce wraps! So each I got some pickled cucumber with each bite, yums!
Since I used romaine lettuce, you could probably assemble the wraps shortly before serving. Romaine lettuce is a bit more sturdy than other lettuce which means it won't wilt as fast.
Loving the colors that these wraps bring to the table!
I love romaine lettuce because I feel like they're the perfect vehicle for all of these yummy toppings! Easy to pick up and has the perfect shape to nestle in all of the toppings :D
Sriracha-Chili Chicken Lettuce Wraps
For the chicken:
4 chicken thighs, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sambal oelek (see link to product below)
2 tbsp sriracha (see link to product below)
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 small can of water chestnuts, cut into small chunks
For the cucumbers:
1/2 cucumber, cut into very thin rounds
1/4 C white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
The toppings and lettuce:
2 romaine lettuce hearts, peel leaves apart and wash (cut off tough white ends)
1/4 red cabbage, sliced into thin strips
1 bundle of dried rice noodle (I used brown rice noodles), broken into three sections
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1. Make the sriracha-chili chicken: In a large bowl, mix the diced chicken thighs, garlic, soy sauce, sambal oelek and sriracha. Let marinate in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Once marinated, heat the vegetable and sesame oil in a pan, once hot add the chicken pieces and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Reduce the heat to low and the mix in the waterchestnuts. Remove from the heat and let cool a little bit before assembling the lettuce wrap. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
2. Make the pickled cucumber: In a medium bow, mix the cucumbers, white vinegar and salt and pepper so that all cucumbers have been mixed well with the vinegar. Place the bowl in the fridge and let marinate for 15 - 30 minutes.
3. Make the crispy puffed rice noodle: In a small pan, place about 1/4 cup vegetable oil and let it heat up (you can test the temperature of the oil by inserting the end of a piece of noodle into the oil, if it immediately puffs up, you know your oil is ready) Once hot, add in a section of the dried rice noodle it should puff up immediately, after a few seconds, use tongs and flip the bundle over so that the other side of the noodles can puff up. Repeat with the remaining bunches of noodles.
4. Assemble the lettuce wraps: Now the fun begins: spoon some chicken into the lettuce leaf, followed by the rest of the toppings: cucumber, red cabbage and crispy noodles. Sprinkle some more sesame seeds over top and then take a bit into the crunchy creation!!! Serve, devour & enjoy :)