Stir-fried chicken, walnuts and vegetables in lettuce puffs is one of my favorite dishes in a Chinese restaurant. Sweet Hoisin sauce spooned over crisp cool lettuce and then topped with warm chicken and vegetables combines to create a taste and texture sensation.
I often find cooking in a wok at home doesn’t produce the same results as when food is prepared in a Chinese restaurant. I asked Martin Yan of “Yan Can Cook” fame for some tips on achieving authentic results at home. He told me the No. 1 rule: Don’t overcrowd the wok. Cook small portions and cut the ingredients into small pieces. Otherwise, the food will steam in the wok.
Hoisin sauce and oyster flavored sauce can be found in most supermarkets.
This is a 20-minute meal. As with most Chinese recipes, there are several ingredients to be prepared, but the actual cooking time is only about 4 to 5 minutes.
This meal contains 641 calories per serving with 31 percent of calories from fat.
Wine suggestion: This is pretty rich with the walnuts and Hoisin sauce; try a nice rich California chardonnay.
• Use toasted sesame oil if available in your market. It gives a smoky flavor.
• Dry sherry can be substituted for the vinegar.
• Look for canned no-salt-added, diced water chestnuts.
• While chicken marinates, prepare all other ingredients.
• Stir-fry the dish.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need.
To buy: 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast; 1 small bottle oyster-flavored sauce; 1 small package walnut pieces; 1 bottle sesame oil; 1 small bottle Hoisin sauce; 1 small bottle Chinese rice vinegar; 1 can no-salt-added, diced water chestnuts; 1 package microwaveable white rice; 1 small piece fresh ginger or 1 bottle ground ginger; 1 small package shiitake mushrooms; 1 small bunch scallions; and 1 head iceberg lettuce.
Staples: minced garlic, carrots, salt and black peppercorns.
McClatchy Tribune News Service
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