Lettuce cups are a great food for when you feel like you may have been over-indulging. They’re also a super flavourful and fresh way to serve any sort of leftover chicken you may have – or a great way to spice up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I’ve listed my favourite ingredients and given this version a Vietnamese flavour, but you can include any sort of vegetable that’s in your crisper or that your family enjoys. You can even switch out the lettuce cups for a thin type of cabbage, like savoy.
This recipe for the Vietnamese dipping sauce called nuoc cham is as simple as it gets, but you can also serve these lettuce cups with a jar of hoisin, sriracha, or your favourite peanut sauce with great results. Or if you’re in the mood to empty out the fridge a bit, throw all your Asian sauces on the table and mix and match.
Chicken Lettuce Cups
2-3 cups shredded leftover chicken
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
4 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped peanuts
1 head lettuce (iceberg, Bibb and romaine all work well)
wedges of lime, to serve
Nuoc Cham Dressing
¼ cup lime juice
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp water
1. Arrange the chicken, cucumber, carrots, scallions and bean sprouts on a platter. Place the mint and cilantro on a separate plate, and the peanuts in a small bowl alongside. Arrange the lettuce on a separate platter.
2. To make the nuoc cham, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and water together until the sugar is fully dissolved.
3. Encourage your dining companions to make their own lettuce wraps that suit their own tastes. I think the best way to start is to pile everything in a large lettuce cup and drizzle the dressing on top – but to each their own! Garnish with lime slices and serve.