Tacos are technically a traditional Mexican dish but these days restaurants are filling tortillas with all sorts of globally-inspired ingredients. On this “Taco Tuesday,” try lightening things up with these Thai-inspired Chicken Larb Lettuce Cups. These verdant and crisp handheld packages house a fragrant ground chicken mixture that is seasoned with soy, ginger, lemongrass, and chili sauce, then brightened up with fresh herbs.
Chicken Larb Lettuce Wraps
½ red onion, sliced very thinly into strips
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced lemongrass stalk
3 scallions, sliced into thin rounds
1 Fresno or jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sambal oelek or sriracha
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound ground chicken (or pork)
1 to 2 heads bibb lettuce, leaves carefully removed from the stem
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1 cup loosely packed basil
1 cup loosely packed mint
In a small bowl, combine the sliced red onion, rice wine vinegar, and sugar. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together the minced garlic and lemongrass, sliced scallions, minced Fresno or jalapeno chili, soy sauce, light brown sugar, fish sauce, sambal oelek, and black pepper.
Heat the canola oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and break up any large chunks with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Cook until the meat is fully cooked and slightly browned. Stir in the soy and lemongrass mixture and cook for at least 1 minute to remove any raw garlic flavor.
Spoon the chicken larb mixture into bibb lettuce cups, squeeze lime juice over the meat, then top with a bit of the herbs and a few of the pickled red onions.