So, a new thing you may not know about me is that I spent four years as an official recipe developer. I wrote original recipe content for a unique, algorithm-based website known as Cooking PlanIt. From that job, I learned all kinds of food-and-interweb type skills like food photography and food blogging, which is why it’s only natural that I am carrying these skill-sets into my own blog project. I just couldn’t leave behind these “job responsibilities”, which really became natural, intrinsic habits of mine. I mean, how can I NOT turn great-tasting food into recipes, or snap photos of it, or share it on social media? It’s like telling a fish not to swim, people!!
In those four years, I wrote and/or curated over 700 recipes. There were a lot of really great recipes in that bunch, but the Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups is probably one of the most popular, most cooked, and since then, the most requested. In memory of those Cooking PlanIt recipes gone by, I decided to update this fan-favorite and give it a bit of a facelift/refresher. You know, cuz’ I get bored easily and always like to put a spin on things – even my own things!
What I loved most about the job was that I got to write all kinds of content for all sorts of home-cooks, from novice to experimental to busy-as-heck families that just needed to get a meal on the table STAT! Heard that! Food fast! Luckily, this recipe cooks in less than 25 minutes. Yay!
Not only does this dish cook fast, but it hits big on flavor, too. Want to make it a complete meal? Measure 1 cup of rice with 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of water or stock and a pinch of salt into a saucepan. Set over high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer until tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Creamy, coconut rice goes great on the side or stuffed right into the lettuce cups!
A fast, flavorful one pan recipe the entire family is sure to enjoy!
1 tablespoon vegetable, canola or coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional (for spice)
2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
12 ounces ground pork
12 ounces ground chicken or turkey
2 cups frozen peas, carrots and corn
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons hoisin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
12–16 leaves of Bibb lettuce
A few sprinkles of white and/or black sesame seeds
3 green onion, sliced thin
Have your garlic and ginger minced before starting.
Set a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil along with red pepper flakes, if using. Let oil warm for 1-2 minutes, then add the ginger. Steep the ginger in the oil for another minute, then add the garlic. Stir to combine, then add the ground pork and ground chicken, breaking it up into small pieces as you add it to the pan. Mix to combine everything well, then continue to cook meat until browned, about 8-12 minutes, stirring often.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and honey.
Once meat is cooked through and beginning to brown, add the peas, carrots and corn. Cook for about 3 minutes to defrost, then pour in the sauce ingredients. Simmer everything together for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
Separate Bibb lettuce leaves to make individual cups. Scoop hoisin chicken and pork into each leaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion. Serve and enjoy!