Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
(Adopted from Pinch of Yum)
The original recipe uses peanuts; however, as my son is allergic I modified with cashews. Feel free to use raw unsalted peanuts if desired.
For the salad
• 1 lb. ground chicken (can also use pork)
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1-2 tsp Chinese Five-Spice powder
• 1 small head green cabbage (at least 12 large leaves)
• 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips (can also use orange or yellow)
• 2 large carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
• green onions, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
• cilantro for topping
For the sauce
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice
• 4 teaspoons fish sauce
• 4 teaspoons Organic Tamari/soy or coconut aminos (if Paleo)
• 4 teaspoons oil (I use olive oil, grapeseed or safflower oil)
• 5 teaspoons honey
• 2 teaspoons water
• scant 1 cup cashews (raw)
• 8 small cloves garlic, minced
• 1½ tablespoons lemongrass paste (I use the lemongrass tubes found in produce section or in jar)
• Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add chicken and Chinese Five-Spice powder; cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring to crumble.
• Cut the bottom stem off the cabbage so the leaves come apart easily while still staying intact. Wash the leaves and set aside. Prepare the other vegetables.
• Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree or blend until the mixture resembles chunky nut butter (just not as thick). Taste and adjust to fit your preferences.
• Assemble the lettuce wraps by filling the cabbage leaves with chicken, carrots, peppers, green onions, and cilantro. Add a few extra raw cashews if you want. Top with a spoonful of sauce.
You can definitely use regular lettuce but I like the flavor and the texture of the green cabbage leaves better.
Make the dressing a day ahead of time to save time the night you’re making this meal. The sauce is delicious and you will have plenty left over to use as a dip with raw veggies; perfect to have on hand to satisfy a mid afternoon craving!
Serve with quinoa or brown rice.