Dr. Who night! A fabulous time of culinary creation. And this month's theme - Asian! Now this past weeks earlier attempt at Asian food involved stir frying chicken/rainbow salad mix (which if you've never heard of it - SERIOUSLY awesome! It's a mix of cabbage/broccoli/carrots sliced really thing, like coleslaw. SO great for any Asian dishes) and rice noodles with peanut sauce. Now, when I was thinking peanut sauce, I was thinking peanut sauce I've had in the past, which is more like a sweet peanut buttery kind of thing that Thai restaurants usually serve with spring rolls. However, apparently there are spicy peanut sauces, and this was one of them. Brean thought it was awesome and ate like three bowls. I may add pressed coconut to it next time and see if that helps take the kick out, or a different brand of peanut sauce completely. But that is beside the point...
This Dr. Who asian endeavor was an attempt at P.F. Chang's famous Chicken Lettuce Wraps (which are really awesome if you've never been there - it was one of my 3 birthday dinners! ;P). Found the following recipe on food.com and away I went.
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup water chestnut
- 2/3 cup mushroom
- 3 tablespoons chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 -5 leaves iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon hot mustard
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 -2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste
Stir Fry Sauce
- 1Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
- 2Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
- 3Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.
- 4Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
- 5Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
- 6Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
- 7Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
- 8Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
- 9Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
- 10As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
- 11Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
- 12When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
- 13With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
- 14Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
- 15Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce"cups".
- 16Top with"Special Sauce".
Let's see first changes: I really really hate mushrooms. So that ingredient was out - but as it was going to be like three cups of my recipe (I changed the servings to 8) I had to find another filler. Enter broccoli slaw! A fabulous mixture of cabbage/carrots/broccoli all sliced, ready for cooking. I love it when they make it easy on me! :p Mixed my "special" sauce ahead of time and pretty much followed that to the T, though I did leave out the hot mustard and chili paste, as I figured people could add it to their own as needed. Hmm, what else...boiled the chicken the night before instead of sauteing it - either way would work I think, and then diced it up. The next day diced the water chestnuts and onions, plus the broccoli slaw (just for consistency). At that point, I added everything together in the fry pan with oil and sauteed for about 4 minutes. Changes for next time: I think I would use a wok and measure the oil (yes, I know, should have done that) as there almost didn't seem like enough. The sauce was really good, but I think I would add the hot mustard and maybe a little bit of chili paste, provided I could find a non-chunky version. I think that's it. It seemed to be a hit with the fam, and the nice thing is you can tailor it to your audience either by switching up ingredients or sauces to their liking. Definitely a keeper around here, and I love the fact that you can dice everything up, put it in a bowl, and it will only take you a couple of minutes to throw everything together when people arrive.