Spicy Chicken Lettuce Cups

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Crisp cups of lettuce filled with savory, sweet and spicy chicken make for fun party bites, but they’re also great for a quick low-carb meal that’s more filling than a salad. Food blogger Marc Matsumoto says it is easy to prepare, and you can get creative with the filling in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

Yield: 16 small cups

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Ingredients

  • 2 heads iceberg or butter leaf lettuce
  • 2 shallots, peeled trimmed and sliced thin
  • Oil for frying
  • 450 grams ground chicken (1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin

Directions

  1. Remove the large outer leaves of each head of lettuce and take about 8 smaller leaves from the center of each head of lettuce. It's easier to peel off the leaves whole if you cut the stem of each leaf and peel them from the stem end. Trim the small leaves into cups with kitchen scissors, and put them in a large bowl of ice water. The cold water helps crisp up the lettuce. Save the larger leaves for a salad.
  2. Add 1 inch of oil in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Peel and slice the shallots into thin rings. Prepare a paper towel lined wire rack. When the oil is hot (you can test it by adding a shallot, if it sizzles right away, it's hot), add half the shallots and fry until golden brown. Be careful not to burn them or they will taste bitter. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried shallots to the prepared rack. Repeat with the rest of the shallots.
  3. Add the meat, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, potato starch and Sriracha to a small bowl, and then stir everything together to combine. Be careful not to over mix it, otherwise it will be hard to crumble it as you cook it.
  4. In a frying pan, add 2 teaspoons of oil along with the garlic and ginger and fry until they're golden brown in color. Add the seasoned meat and stir fry, using a spatula to break up the meat so that there are no clumps. When the meat is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add the scallions.
  5. To serve, drain and dry the lettuce leaves off. Add a mound of meat, and then top with the fried shallots. Add some extra hot sauce if you want more heat.
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