Vietnamese Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Mint-Basil Sauce



1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

1 pound ground organic chicken breast

1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, finely chopped1 cup minced button mushrooms

2 tablespoons fish sauce*

1 tablespoon tamari sauce, Bragg Liquid Aminos, or wheat-free soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

*fish sauce, a.k.a. nam pla, may be found in the Asian aisle of your grocery store

Mint-Basil Sauce:

1/3 cup tamari sauce, Bragg Liquid Aminos, or wheat-free soy sauce

1/3 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Asian garlic-chile paste or hot sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons Xylosweet

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil16 butter lettuce or radicchio leaves

2 medium organic carrots, julienned or shredded

4 green onions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

1. To make the filling, heat coconut or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and celery and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant.  Add ground chicken and sauté until cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking up chicken as it cooks.

2.  Add water chestnuts and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Add fish sauce, tamari sauce, sesame oil, and dried red pepper flakes.  Mix well and remove from heat.  Transfer to a large bowl and keep warm until you are ready to assemble wraps.3.  To make the sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

4.  To Assemble the wraps, place lettuce leaves on a serving platter.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons chicken mixture on top of each leaf.  Top chicken with a few pieces of carrot and onion, a drizzle of sauce, and a sprinkle f peanuts.  Serve immediately with remaining dipping sauce on the side.  Recipe by Mariel Hemingway, from “Mariel’s Kitchen”, photo from

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