Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I’m afraid Doc and I are going to weigh 2 tons by the time the quarantine is over! It seems all we do is eat. They say it is good to die fat and happy. The jury is out on that one for me. I do think that I would like having fewer wrinkles!  In desperation I have forced myself to abandon sweat pants for jeans in hopes that squeezing myself into them will motivate me to stop eating! Maybe these lettuce wraps will solve my problem. #coronavirus dilemmas

Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 # chicken strips cut in 1-inch cubes, seasoned (to taste) with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
3 teaspoons jarred minced garlic (3 cloves)
1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled with a spoon and grated
½ red bell pepper, ½ -inch dice
3 green onions, cleaned, roots removed, and thinly sliced
½ cup Hoisin Sauce (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1 head Iceberg lettuce, cored, cleaned, and cut in quarters for lettuce wraps
Optional garnishes: Cilantro, Thai sweet chili sauce, shredded carrot, lime wedges, and Thai pickles (recipe follows)

This dish is stir fried. Have all ingredients ready before starting the dish. Once things get rolling there is no time for prep! Keep the ingredients moving in the pan.

Heat oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add chicken and stir fry 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir fry 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; stir fry 30 seconds. Add red pepper and green onions; stir fry 1 minute. Add hoisin sauce and stir to coat ingredients. Remove from heat and pour in a bowl. Serve with lettuce wraps and desired garnishes. Makes 4-6 servings.  Tip: If the sauce is too liquid, stir 1 teaspoon of water and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch together. Add to pan. Stir and cook until thickened. (Some chicken when cooked releases a lot of water.)

Thai Pickles
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce
1 ½ cups thinly sliced cucumbers

In a small saucepan heat sugar, vinegar, and salt over medium high heat. Stir just until sugar dissolves then remove from heat. Pour into a medium glass bowl. Add sweet chili sauce. Place bowl in freezer to cool while slicing cucumbers.

Remove pickling liquid from freezer. Submerge cucumbers. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Keeps several days in refrigerator.

Published in The News and Neighbor on April 15, 2020.

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