Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups Recipe
January 23 is the first day of the Chinese New Year. Apparently the Chinese really know how to bring in a new year because they celebrate for 15 days! Yep, not just one measly New Year’s Eve for them but 15 days of partying it up! Here’s a recipe to help you celebrate in style and fortune – Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups.
Serving lettuce cups for Chinese New Year makes a lot of sense (or should I say cents?) as the lettuce represents rising fortune. The word “fortune” encompasses luck, wealth, chances, success, and riches. With that in mind, I suggest you have 2 or 3 or these tasty treats – because seriously, I can think of no easier path to good fortune!
This year in the Chinese calendar marks the Year of The Dragon. Dragon years are supposed to be lucky for ANYONE thinking of starting a business or project of any kind because money is easier to come by for everyone in years of The Dragon. So, dream your dreams and get busy – this is your year!
According to the Chinese horoscope babies born in The Year of the Dragon tend to be intelligent, passionate, brave and self-assured – pioneering spirits who rush in where angels dare not tread. They are flamboyant, independent and yes, even a bit stubborn. They are charming and charismatic and tend to fall in love fast and hard. They may rush into love and treat it as a game at times but when they find the right partner, they most certainly can settle down. If you are having a baby this year, I suspect it will be a bit of a handful but OH, what a fabulous handful indeed!
So, here’s to a fortunate new year!
(Gong Hey Fat Choy)
(Happy New Year)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated
- 4 scallions, finely sliced on the diagonal (divided)
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 (8-ounce) can whole water chestnuts cut into ¼-inch dice
- 6 tablespoons San-J Asian BBQ Sauce plus more for serving
- 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce leaves separated, washed and dried
- 2 ounces mung bean vermicelli
- Cooking oil
- Kosher or fine sea salt
Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon cooking oil, heat for a minute then add the garlic, ginger and 2 sliced scallions. Cook for 30 seconds or until very fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the chicken and cook through, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 2 scallions, the carrots and the diced water chestnuts. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 6 tablespoons San-J Asian BBQ Sauce, and cook, stirring, until heated through – about 30 seconds.
To make the garnish, place paper towels on a dinner plate. Using your hands, gently pull the mung bean vermicelli noodles apart into smaller portions. Heat 2 inches of oil in a small saucepan or wok (the smaller the pan, the less oil you will need) to 375 degrees (rippling but not smoking). Fry one small handful of noodle at a time until they puff up – 5-10 seconds. Remove from oil with tongs or a strainer – place on the prepared plate and sprinkle with a little salt.
To serve, dip the back of a spoon into a small bowl of San-J Asian BBQ Sauce, spread into a lettuce leaf, spoon in some filling and top with the fried mung bean noodles if desired.
Recipe serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as an appetizer.
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