Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps with Five Spice & Hoisin

Today was the day!  My #punkkid became a certified scuba diver!!  I am so incredibly excited and happy for him and sad at the same time because it is something that I'll never be able to do with him.  That a whole other post but until then....... Mr. Finley IS a certified diver so this is something that they can share together and spend quality time together.

While they are out diving?  I'm be coming up with new recipes, washing clothes and painting my nails.  It's just what I do.  ;)

The #finleyguys were gone yesterday from 7am - 10:30pm busy with water skills testing, classroom testing and just general merriment that those two do when I am not around.  (I don't want to know!)  Today they left at 6am, headed out on to the ocean at 7am and they both got in several dives.  I am SO proud of #punkkid!!!!!  What did I do?  I perused Pinterest looking for dinner to feed the hungry "fish" when they got home.  It couldn't be too heavy, couldn't be carb heavy, and I wanted to be sure it was light and fresh.  Gauging from the empty serving bowls on the kitchen counter I think I achieved nirvana!

Here is my take on Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Let me know what you think in the comments!  I hope you try them and I hope you LOVE them......

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Five Spice & Hoisin

4 chicken cutlets, diced
2 - 3 tbls vegetable oil (or canola but definitely NOT olive oil)
4 tbls soy sauce, low sodium
2 tbls rice wine vinegar
2 tbls brown sugar
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 or 2 pinches of Five Spice Powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1-2 tsp sesame oil (you need more than 1 but 2 can be overpowering for some - I used 2)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 shallots, minced (or 1 small yellow onion)
1/2 c chopped cashews (I just used halves and pieces)
1/4 c water chestnuts, diced

3 green onions, chopped
Bibb Lettuce or Iceberg Lettuce

In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, hoisin, five spice powder, cayenne pepper, ginger, and sesame oil.  Whisk until combined and brown sugar is dissolved.  Set mixture aside.
Heat oil in a wok or medium sized saute pan on medium-high heat.  Add chicken and stir continually until lightly browned.  Once browned, remove chicken to a bowl.  Add to the saute pan the shallots or onion and saute for 2-3 mins until tender.  Add garlic to the pan and continue to saute another 2-3 mins careful not to burn.  Add chicken back to the pan along with cashews, water chestnuts and sauce.  Mixture will seem "thin" at first - cook on a high simmer for 7-10 mins allowing the sauce to reduce and thicken.

Serve with either Bibb lettuce or iceberg lettuce leaves and top with chopped green onions.

These were delicious!  I know many people don't have Five Spice Powder in their pantry but the addition to this dish is so worth it!  There are so many other recipes out there that call for it - here are a few I rounded up to help you justify the purchase!  ;)

I LOVE comments! Let me know what you think......

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