Low carb eating just got a whole lot more interesting with my Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps! Who needs rice when you’ve got fresh crunchy lettuce leaves? Everybody’s going to come back for seconds and thirds, and that’s ok because this meal is low calorie and super healthy!
My family teases me that I’m sometimes my own biggest fan when it comes to the food I make, and I don’t deny it ~ I love to eat, and when I make something extra delicious like these firecracker chicken lettuce wraps, I’m not shy about letting everybody know about it. This is one of those times when I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm. I mean, come on, how can you resist it ~ a sweet and spicy stir fried chicken with lots of colorful peppers loaded up on fresh lettuce leaves, it’s delicious with zero guilt. You can eat as much as you want ~ and believe me, we did!
I adapted the filling for these lettuce wraps from one of my favorite Asian recipes on the blog, FIRECRACKER CHICKEN. I love colorful bell peppers and this dish really shows them off. The heat comes from dried chili peppers (you can use chili flakes if you like) and a shot of sriracha in the sauce.
You can translate most Chinese stir fry recipes into lettuce wraps ~ just make sure to chop everything into a small dice, and thicken the sauce enough so that it isn’t too sloppy to eat with your hands. I had trouble deciding which classic Chinese recipe from the blog to try, and I think my KUNG PAO TOFU or my SPICY CASHEW CHICKEN would have been equally great in these lettuce wraps.
I cut the peppers and onions into perfect 1/2 inch dice with one of my favorite kitchen tools, my Stainless Steel Alligator Chopper. This heavy duty chopper, which is made in Sweden, is a replacement for the lightweight plastic model that I used last year. The plastic choppers are good up to a point, but they don’t hold up to to heavy use. This chopper is a serious kitchen tool and I love the even cut I can get on so many types of food. For lettuce wraps this is especially important because you want everything to fit easily into your leaves of lettuce.
I even diced my chicken tenders with the chopper! (Just be sure to cut the veggies first, and clean it thoroughly after the chicken.)
These Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a perfect choice for busy day meals, or even entertaining. You can make the filling up to a day before, and then just heat it up when you’re ready to wrap.
- 1 lb chicken tenders, cut in small, even dice
- vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh minced ginger
- 1 medium onion, cut in small dice
- 4 bell peppers, multi colors, cut in small dice
- 4 dried hot pepper, thinly sliced (or chili pepper flakes to taste)
- 1 head butter lettuce, individual leaves separated
- sliced green onions
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice (canned is fine)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp plum sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok until hot and stir fry the chicken, in two batches, until it is no longer pink. Remove to a plate.
- Add more oil and saute the onion, ginger, and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the peppers, both sweet and hot, and stir fry for another few minutes. The peppers should be bright and crunchy, don't let them get soft. Remove to a plate.
- Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring or whisking until it thickens. Add the chicken (and any juices) and the peppers etc back into the pan and give everything a good mix. Continue heating until everything is nice and hot.
- Serve spooned onto the lettuce leaves and top with the sliced green onions. Or, spoon the sauce into a bowl and let people serve themselves.
- I like to use butter lettuce, but really any lettuce can work, just be aware that if it’s too stiff or brittle it will be harder to eat. You can even make tiny appetizer sized bites using endive or other small sturdy lettuce leaves.
- Don’t assemble your wraps until you are ready to eat or the lettuce will wilt.
- For other healthy ways to enjoy Kung Pao Chicken, try this Baked Kung Pao Chicken, or my Kung Pao Tofu!