Thai cashew chicken lettuce wraps

 

As is the case in most of my recipes I don’t have a recipe. I decided to make these Thai cashew chicken wraps. I had so much fun inventing a recipe for them that I forgot to write it down as I made it. Here are the wonderful lettuce wraps made with cashews and chicken topped with green onions and fresh cilantro.  The dipping sauce was amazing sweetened and spiced to perfection. They were perfect, I bought growing lettuce which is tender and has a light flavor. The Thai sauce with cilantro, green onions, and pepper flakes was sweetened with honey. These flavors blended with the chicken and cashews were just what I was craving on a hot summer day. DANG WHERE IS THAT RECIPE!!

Pulse chicken breasts in a food processor several times until a fine chop occurs. Resist the urge to over chop or you will end up with chicken burger instead.  Combine vinegar, coconut aminos, red pepper flakes and honey for sauce. Separate half of the sauce and pour over chicken, stir to cover all. Marinate for 30 minutes.Melt coconut oil in fry pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken to fry pan. Quickly cook the meat stirring constantly. Cook just until meat turns white, then remove from heat.Have washed and dried lettuce ready. Arrange dipping sauce, chopped cilantro, green onion tops and chopped cashews in bowl. This is now ready to build your lettuce wraps

Ingredients
  • Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 table spoon coconut aminos
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Filling
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 tablespoon fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 head bibb lettuce
  • ½ cup chopped cashews
  • 10-15 cilantro sprigs
Instructions
  1. Separate lettuce leaves, rinse and let rest in water bath for 30 minutes, rinse and let dry
  2. Combine sauce ingredients, stir to combine.
  3. Chop chicken in food processor to a fine texture. DO not grind you still want small individual pieces about ⅛-1/4″ in size.
  4. Pour ½ of sauce over chicken, stir and let marinate 30 minutes
  5. Chop peppers into thin slices and then cut in half
  6. slice shallots thin, chop mint and cilantro. Add to chicken toss to combine.
  7. To reserved sauce add tapioca flour, stir to combine.
  8. Melt oil in fry pan, over medium high heat.
  9. Saute meat just until it turns white.
  10. Pour of sauce in separate saute pan heat until thickened
  11. Add half of the sauce to the chicken. Stir to combine, heat a few minutes until chicken is coated.
  12. Use remainder of sauce for dipping, thin with water if needed.
  13. In a lettuce leave scoop in about 2 tablespoons of filling, sprinkle with cashew and cilantro sprigs, then fold over sides and dip in the sauce

Egg Rolls

This dish with Fried Rice is all of my kids favorite dish. I had my daughter and her friend help me make these. I had them chop and slice and julienne. Then I put in the food processor to make it more uniform in size. The friend after chopping and slicing said “why did you make me slice all this stuff if you were just going to put it in there”? It really works best if you do slice everything by hand to get small julienne.

*For best results cook each ingredient separately, saute and set in one large bowl starting with meat, it is best to cook the shrimp separately since it cooks quickly. Do not brown meats, cook until not raw. Onions, chestnuts, bamboo shoots and fungus can be cooked together. All vegetables should be crisp do not overcook. Toss all these ingredients in large bowl. These can be prepared the day ahead.

Have a small cup of water available for sealing edges. Refer to above diagram.
Lay in front of you with one point toward you like a diamond. Put 1/4 cup of mix in center. Pull closest corner over filling, tuck and roll once. Fold side corner over center, tuck in loose edges, seal edges. Wet last corner with water tucking and rolling all loose edges in sealing with water. Be careful to not use too much tension or the wrapper will tear. There is a fine balance between tightly rolled and too tightly rolled it just takes practice. Some tears can be patched with some water and pinching. Repeat until all filling and wrappers are gone. Can be refrigerated and set aside until just before served. (adjust your filling amount to what works best to fill the roll without tearing it)

Cooking

Heat oil in deep fry pan 2-3 inches of oil is best. With oil med high. Test for temperature by placing a small piece of wrapper in oil it should rise to the surface within 2 seconds. If faster it is too hot, if slower it is not hot enough. Oil will cool as you add egg rolls so it is OK if it is a bit too hot to begin with. Place rolls in oil gently, one at a time. As each becomes golden brown turn. Place on paper towel to drain oil, move to baking dish and keep warm in 170 degree oven until ready to serve, if you can wait that long.

Caution filling will be hot. Be cautious of splattering oil while cooking.

These will not be as tightly rolled as the ones you buy but they are much better.

Serve with hot mustard, sweet and sour sauce, wonton dipping sauce. All can be bought pre-made at most grocery store.

Ingredients
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoon premium soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-5 drops sesame oil
  • 1 ½ cup raw chicken chopped fine not ground
  • 1 cup raw pork chopped fine not ground
  • 1 cup raw shrimp chopped fine (this will look grey when you buy it, you will need to shell and devien them)
  • ½ head cabbage very finely sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions sliced
  • 1 can water chestnuts julienne
  • 1 large carrot julienne
  • 1 can bamboo shoots julienne
  • 1-2 tablespoon black fungus softened in water and thinly sliced or chopped (Bought dry at Asian store)
  • ½ pound fresh bean sprouts cut in half
  • 2 eggs beaten cooked in thin pancake, do not brown, once cooked roll and make thin slices and chop about 1 inch strips
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Cook each ingredient separately, saute and set in one large bowl
  2. Start with meat, it is best to cook the shrimp separately since it cooks quickly. Do not brown meats, cook until not raw.
  3. All vegetables should be crisp do not overcook.
  4. Onions, chestnuts, bamboo shoots and fungus can be cooked together.
  5. Toss all these ingredients in large bowl. These can be prepared the day ahead.
  6. Rolling
  7. Have a small cup of water available for sealing edges.
  8. Lay egg roll wrap in front of you with one point toward you like a diamond.
  9. Put ¼ cup of mix near center spread out slightly in a line.
  10. Pull closest corner over filling, tuck and roll once.
  11. Fold side corner over center, tuck in loose edges, seal edges with water.
  12. Wet last corner with water tucking and rolling all loose edges sealing with water.
  13. Be careful to not use too much tension or the wrapper will tear.
  14. There is a fine balance between tightly rolled and too tightly rolled it just takes practice.
  15. Some tears can be patched with some water and pinching.
  16. Repeat until all filling and wrappers are used.
  17. Can be refrigerated and set aside until just before served.
  18. Cooking
  19. Heat oil in deep fry pan on medium high heat. 2-3 inches of oil is best..Oil will cool as you add egg rolls so it is OK if it is a bit too hot to begin with.
  20. Test for temperature by placing a small piece of wrapper in oil it should rise to the surface within 2 seconds. If faster it is too hot, if slower it is not hot enough.
  21. Place rolls in oil gently, one at a time. As each becomes golden brown turn over.
  22. Place on paper towel to drain oil, move to baking dish and keep warm in 170 degree oven until ready to serve, if you can wait that long.
Notes
*These can be prepared the day ahead.

*Be cautious of splattering oil while cooking.

*These will not be as tightly rolled as the ones you buy but they are much better.

Serve with hot mustard, sweet and sour sauce, wonton dipping sauce. All can be bought pre-made at most grocery store.