Thai-Style Minced Chicken Lettuce Cups
Based on the popular Thai dish Larb Gai, this is a quick, easy, and flavorful weeknight dinner.
- 1 large head iceberg or butter lettuce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger (you'll need a thick 2-inch piece)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds ground chicken (not all breast meat)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons lime zest, from 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, from 1-1/2 limes
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 large scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
Optional For Serving
- Finely sliced carrots
- Lime wedges
- Cilantro and/or mint sprigs
- If using iceberg lettuce: fill a large bowl with cold water. Place the head of lettuce on a cutting board; cut off the stem, then cut around the inner core of the lettuce and remove (do not cut all the way through the lettuce; just deep enough to remove the core). Discard the flimsy, ragged outer leaves and then place the head of lettuce in the bowl of water. Gently pull apart the leaves, then place them on a paper towel to dry. Cut any large leaves in half. Chill the lettuce cups in refrigerator until ready to serve. (If using butter lettuce, you won't have any issues pulling apart the leaves so this step is not necessary.)
- Heat the oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the ground chicken and turn the heat up to high. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until partially cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, lime juice and red pepper flakes and continue cooking, stirring frequently to break up the meat, until the chicken is cooked through, 5-6 minutes more. Off the heat, stir in the scallions, cilantro, mint and nuts. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon into lettuce cups and serve with optional garnishes.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The meat mixture can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months and reheated in the microwave om on the stovetop until hot.
- Per serving (4 servings)
- Calories: 580
- Fat: 33g
- Saturated fat: 7g
- Carbohydrates: 30g
- Sugar: 20g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 45g
- Sodium: 1565mg
- Cholesterol: 195g
Gluten-Free Adaptable Note
To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.