Certain holidays during the year can be quite the challenge for those who want to eat healthy. Now that Thanksgiving and Christmas has passed, some may find themselves facing another obstacle: Chinese New Year. Food is important to Chinese New Year celebrations, as many dishes traditionally eaten during that time serve as important symbols. Chinese New Year feasts are often lavish with a wide variety of desserts, candies and other delicacies. You’ll often find whole fish, dumplings, sticky rice cakes and other delicious treats at the dinner table, some of which are rich, heavy and sugary. And with Chinese New Year festivities in full swing since last week, the question begs: how does one navigate around this during Chinese New Year?
Lucky for you, Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps are not only healthy but also part of the traditional Chinese New Year foods. The word “lettuce” in Cantonese is similar to the words “rising fortune” and symbolizes prosperity. In turn, foods eaten in lettuce cups are popular at this time of the year. Though our Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups look simple, they’re packed full of flavor with juicy, marinated chicken and a sweet and savory sauce. Usher in the Year of the Sheep with this tasty and symbolic dish and welcome in a fresh start!
Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
- 1 pound of chicken breast, boneless, skinless, chopped into small pieces
- 1 organic carrot, julienned
- 2 stalks of organic green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8-10 leaves of butter lettuce, washed and trimmed
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
For the sauce
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
1. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce and stir until everything is dissolved.
2. In a large pan, heat up some of the vegetable oil over high heat and add the garlic and carrots. Stir-fry for 20 seconds.
3. Toss the chicken pieces into the pan and cook for a minute.
4. Add the sauce and stir-fry with the chicken pieces for another couple minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
5. Divide equal amounts of the chicken and vegetables into the butter lettuce cups.
6. Sprinkle the chopped green onion over the chicken for garnish.
What are your thoughts on this healthy Chinese New Year recipe? Have you ever had Chinese lettuce cups before? What are your favorite Chinese New Year foods?