All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
OK – now we are talking! These are clean & light & perfectly suited to hot weather – both in the ease of preparation & the lack of anything too rich, dense or filling. Another nice thing is that these guys come together in less than 20 minutes. I think lemongrass is a traditional ingredient but I left it out – mainly because I know most people don’t have ready access to it.
As always, I used Beyond Meat’s chicken because it is, in my opinion, the best vegan chicken on the market. If you click that link – you can find a store locator & maybe even a coupon! I also used jarred ginger & garlic but fresh would, clearly, be even better.
You can make this as spicy (or not) as you like. I tend to go heavy on spice so keep that in mind if heat is not your bag. For my money – the most critical detail in this recipe is the mint – but basil will do in a pinch.
Vegan Spicy Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups (Larb Gai – Laab Gai)
Enough large lettuce leaves to make 6-8 individual cups/wraps
9 oz vegan chicken – thawed
1 TBS olive oil
1 jalapeno – seeded & minced
1/2 red bell pepper – slivered
1/2 red onion – diced
1 TBS ginger
1 TBS garlic
4+ TBS soy sauce or tamari
2 TBS brown sugar
1-3 TBS sriracha (according to your taste for heat)
1 TBS peanut butter (optional)
Fresh mint (or basil) – but really try it with mint – the mint is SO GOOD!
GARNISHES (use as many or as few as you like)
Carrot – cut into matchsticks
Cucumber – cut into matchsticks
Red cabbage – slivered
Avocado (I show avocado in these photos but I did not add it to the wraps – though you might like to)
Set two plates with the lettuce cups on them.
In a food processor, pulse the chicken together with the jalapeno, half the onion & half the red bell pepper until it looks like pulled chicken or ground chicken (depending on the brand you are using) – or chop it all very fine, by hand)
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan & cook the remaining red onion & bell pepper for a few minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, peanut butter & sriracha & blend until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken & heat through. Tweak the seasonings & divide the chicken between the lettuce cups. Top with cilantro and MINT (!) & serve with lime wedges & any other garnishes you opted to use.