Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Recipe Review | PLATED Taiwanese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This latest recipe from Plated is so perfect for a hot summer evening. No oven or grill necessary... just some pan sautéing and steaming of the rice. All four of us found it super flavorful, fresh-tasting, and filling too. After three generous wraps per person, there were leftovers enough for a few more --but no one had room for seconds. The heat from the red pepper flakes and the sweet from the dates turned out to be a winning combination. The toasted cashews were a nice crunch with the crisp lettuce. All in all, we loved it.

Taiwanese Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Cashews and Dates
Recipe curtesy of Plated
(serves 4)
What you need:
1/4 ounce fresh ginger
1 cup jasmine rice
1/4 ounce cilantro
2 heads Boston lettuce
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
6 scallions
1/2 cup roasted salted cashews
5 dates
5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I used half of this and it was plenty hot for us.)
1/3 cup mirin
1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
salt and pepper
What to do:
  1. Cook ginger rice: Trim and discard skin of ginger with the edge of a spoon. In a small pot, combine rice, whole ginger knob, 1 1/2 cups of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir once, reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until water is fully absorbed, about 10-12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and then cover agin to keep warm until serving.
  2. Prepare ingredients: While the rice cooks, rinse all produce. Pick cilantro leaves, discarding stems. Rinse and dry lettuce leaves, separating larger leaves for the wraps (you'll need about 3 leaves per serving). Trim and discard scallion roots and cut into 1-inch pieces, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens. Roughly chop cashews or place in a ziplock bag and gently crush with the back of larger spoon or heavier utensil. Roughly chop dates. Thinly slice garlic. (I halved each clove so I could find them easily after cooking and remove them before serving. If you LOVE garlic, leave them in.)
  3. Cook chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Cook, breaking up, until browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a bowl. Wipe pan clean for the next step.
  4. Make sauce: Heat pan from chicken over medium heat with 2 tablespoons canola oil. When oil is shimmering, add crushed red pepper, cashews, garlic, and scallion withes and light greens. Sauté, stirring, until golden and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Add mirin, soy sauce, dates and 2/3 cup water and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened slightly, 5-7 minutes more (don't rush the thickening).
  5. Finish chicken: Return chicken to pan with sauce, still over medium-high heat. Stir to coat and warm through, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. (With all of the soy sauce, I found I did not need to add any more salt but did hit the pan well with cracked pepper.)
  6. Plate lettuce wraps: Remove and discard the whole ginger knob from the pot with rice. Divide lettuce wraps among serving plates and fill with ginger rice and Taiwanese chicken. Garnish with cilantro and dark green scallions.

As always, let me know if you try it and what you thought of the recipe. We will definitely be enjoying this one again soon!

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