Chicken Lettuce Wrap Studded with Toasted Pine Nuts – 4 – 6 servings
1 head of lettuce, Bibb, Boston lettuce
2 oz dried mung bean thread vermicelli (optional)
1 T dry vermouth
1 T soy sauce
2 T oyster sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2 T peanut oil or other high smoke point oil (e.g. sunflower, grape seed, safflower, or soy)
1 T finely minced scallion, including dark green part
1/2 tsp finely minced or grated fresh ginger
1 tsp finely minced garlic (optional depending on preference)
4 medium shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, finely diced
1/4 C diced water chestnut
1/4 C diced sweet pepper (red, orange, or yellow), seeded, ribs removed, 1/4” dice
1/4 C peas ( blanched fresh or defrosted frozen)
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 T chicken stock to make a slurry
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
3 T pine nuts, lightly toasted
1. Separate the lettuce leaves, trim into 5”rounds, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange on a serving plate and keep chilled in refrigerator until serving time.
2. If using mung bean thread vermicelli, heat 3 cups peanut oil to 350⁰F place bean threads in oil. It will immediately puff up and turn white. With tongs, carefully flip the bundle to cook the other side for a couple of seconds. Drain on paper towels and place on a platter.
3. Combine vermouth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and set close by.
4. Heat a wok (or 10” or 12” skillet) for about 30 seconds till hot. Pour in the 2 T peanut oil, swirl around to coat the bottom of pan. When the oil is just about to smoke, add the scallion and ginger (and garlic, if using). Cook for a few seconds, then add the ground chicken. Stir quickly, breaking up large lumps, about 2-3 minutes. Add the vermouth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar mixture. Continue stirring until chicken is cooked through and no longer translucent. Add the mushrooms, water chestnut, sweet pepper and peas. Give the cornstarch slurry a stir and add to the pan. Stir constantly until cornstarch thickens and glazes everything. Add a pinch of pepper and the toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.
5. To serve, place some bean thread puffs on a lettuce round and spoon 2 T chicken mixture on top. Fold the lettuce over the filling to form a package and enjoy.