Appetizer

Romaine Wraps with Saigon Chicken

Active Time: 15 minutes β€’ Total Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 4 Servings

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Ingredients

This Vietnamese-inspired dish is centered upon a vibrantly flavorful mixture of protein and aromatics, served warm on individual romaine lettuce leaves. It’s a bit messy to eat, but the great taste makes it all worthwhile. Try making this with tofu orΒ ground pork for a change of pace – or for a more complex flavor, try it with 1 pound of ground pork and 1/2 pound (8 ounces) of raw shrimp. The romaine leaves make a perfect wrapper for the meat because they naturally fold in half lengthwise along the central rib.

Remove the outer 3 or 4 layers of leaves from the lemongrass until you reach the soft, tender heart. Cut off the top two-thirds of the stalk, reserving only the bottom 6 inches (from the stem end). Finely mince the lemongrass.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, then add the ginger, lemongrass, jalapeΓ±o, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and the lime zest and juice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is cooked through and the juices have almost evaporated, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint and cilantro.

Arrange the romaine leaves on a platter. Transfer the chicken mixture to a bowl. To serve, top a lettuce leaf with some of the chicken, arranging it along the central rib, but stopping a half inch short of either end. Fold the leaf in half lengthwise, and enjoy!

 

Yields about 4 servings

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