chinese lettuce wraps: the test of friendship.

One of my only memories of a Chinese restaurant (that's right, I've been to few and far in between, and definitely none in the past 5 years - a feat I know!) involve getting messy with lettuce wraps. Hands struggling to hold the breaking lettuce together, warm salty sauce dripping down my chin, and looking over at others partaking, our eyes smiling. It was the perfect dish to celebrate a day of friendship, for it shows how comfortable I can be around some people (especially with drips on my chin)! The test of friendship = the lettuce wrap.
So I was stuck in Langley over the weekend. But, honestly, that's not such a bad thing. A coffee at Wendel's, a meander along Fort Langley's chestnut tree lined streets, and of course, the reading (for once not for uni!) in a local Starbucks. So many memories in this place I lived, for six years. They confront me at every corner, on every piece of pavement. Almost a quarter of my life was spent here, and I regret not a single moment.
We walked around, looking at clothes, on our way to a neat vintage shop that I had never seen, but Naomi wanted to show me.
It was Veggie Bob's wedding. It was closed.
So we headed back home (after our several hours in Starbucks), to make a refreshing meal, one that is fun to eat and reminds you of childhood (and the ubiquitous Chinese buffets after church on Sunday).

Lettuce wraps are considered a fairly 'new' dish in the culinary world, as they are only around 30 years old. They really shouldn't be labeled as Chinese cuisine, as they are more Cantonese in origin. Fresh veggies don't really feature heavily in traditional Chinese recipes, so the likelihood is that this dish was created for Western palettes. A great recipe, but don't forget to wipe the drops on your chin before you leave the house!
Chinese Lettuce Wraps

2 cups chopped cooked skinless chicken breast
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
3 tbs. brown sugar

3 tbs. bean sauce
1 tbs. peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 c. chopped mushrooms

1/4 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Seasoned salt and pepper
1 cup shredded carrots (optional)
One head butter lettuce (iceberg works as well, it just breaks easier)

Hoisin Sauce (to add in to the leaves, if wanted)

1. Combine fist 5 ingredients and let marinade for several hours.

2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until brown and caramelized. Add chicken mix. Cook until chicken is cooked, and sauce is a bit reduced - about 5 mins.

3. Take whole entact leaves off the head of lettuce. Put chicken mix in, then top with some beansprouts, and hoisin sauce if desired. Roll into a wrap.

4.Pray. Eat. Enjoy. Take a literal trip down memory lane.


Ivonne said...

Samantha, you have such a lovely blog! And you're a briliant photographer! Thanks for stopping by CPIV ... love the wraps!