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Chicken (or Pork) Lettuce Wraps (like P.F. Changs™)

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Lettuce Cups
Lettuce cups - via Sonja

My loose spin on P.F. Chang’s classic “Chicken Lettuce Wraps”. P.F. Chang’s serves it as an appetizer, but this recipe makes enough for a meal.

Two heads of Romaine leaves big enough to wrap or cup the mixture when served. (Small-head Iceberg lettuce makes better “cups” but are not as tasty.)
2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Pork Loin diced as small as feasible - 1/4” dice - (or coarsely ground… much easier).
2 Teaspoons of Arrowroot Starch (or Corn Starch) dissolved in an equal amount of water (give it a good stir just before adding to the meat).
7 Green Onions (Scallions) Chop the green parts into 1 in. pieces and the white parts very thinly. Thinly sliced Shallots also work well.
8 oz. chopped fresh mushrooms - Button, Shitake or Portabello (slice off the black “gills” on the underside of the Portabello as these will darken the sauce unnecessarily)
6 oz. of Roasted Cashews pieces or one 8 oz. can Whole Water Chestnuts (not sliced) - dice the Water Chestnuts as fine or as big as you want. Coconut Oil or Peanut oil for stir frying.

Special Sauce Ingredients:
1 heaping Tbsp of Minced Garlic
1/3 cup Tamari (Wheat-free soy sauce - always check the label) 1/2 tsp Vietnamese Fish Sauce “Nouc mam” or Thai “Nom Pla” - optional (always check the label - not all are wheat-free)
1 Tbsp very finely minced Fresh Ginger
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 a dropper full of liquid Stevia - or sweeten to taste with whatever you want.

To the diced chicken or pork add the arrowroot mixture, 2 Tbsp. Wheat-free Tamari and the green onion and mix. Allow to stand at room temp. long enough to take the chill off - about a half hour - the stir frying goes quicker if the meat is not ice cold.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Stir fry the meat in small batches in a medium hot wok in a few tablespoons of Coconut or Peanut oil. Remove each batch to a covered bowl with a slotted spoon leaving as much oil in the wok as possible. As the last batch of meat finishes cooking, add the Mushrooms, Cashews or Water Chestnuts and half of the “Special” sauce.

Cook for two to five minutes until the mushrooms are done to your liking. At this point add the rest of the cooked meat back to the wok. Cook for another 5 minutes or so until the sauces reduces and thickens.

If the sauce does not reduce enough in 5 minutes, remove the meat etc. with a slotted spoon thus leaving only the sauce in the wok to boil down, thicken and reduce quickly to less than 1/4 cup. Then add everything back to the wok, toss with sauce and serve immediately. (You don’t want to serve it dripping with sauce - another teaspoon of arrowroot mixed with a Tablespoon of cold water can be added at this point to thicken it up.)

Serve in a large bowl and allow guests to fill their own lettuce cup and wrap as they wish. Serve with brown rice (for those at your table not doing the Low-Carb thing) and the remaining “Special Sauce” on the side for topping the lettuce or the rice.

Another Low Carb World Tour™ recipe from Haikuman (minus the brown rice, of course)

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