This chicken romaine wrap is filled with all sorts of Southeast Asian influences from Thailand to China. For the amount of ingredients this has, it actually comes together very quickly – and the lettuce wrapping is fun! Highlight ingredients are chicken, walnuts, lime and orange juice, red cabbage, garlic, ginger, and Szechuan pepper corns. As I’m often exploring new ideas for dinner parties, I thought these little bundles of chicken seemed like great finger food. The recipe starts of with an easy marinade for the chicken to relax in for a couple hours. Then we move on to a quick simmer for the addictively delicious lime hot sauce. Next is the blanching of the romaine leaves followed by the stir fry of the chicken and then the assembly. The recipe calls for the chicken romaine wraps to bake for eight minutes in a 350° oven. I think for a more finger friendly food, the baking could be skipped. If you want more of a dipping sauce than the pour over sauce, just reduce some of the water and add a bit more cornstarch.
There are so many interesting, well balanced textures and flavors in this little two bite envelope of southeast asian delight. The sauce could easily be adapted for other meals like salads, stir frys, coleslaws, or even just over some brown rice. The chicken with vegetables and walnuts is fantastic all by itself. If any of this seems complex or time consuming (it’s not), just make the chicken portion of the recipe.
Asian Chicken Romaine Wraps
There are so many interesting, well balanced textures and flavors in this little two bite envelope of southeast asian delight. The sauce could easily be adapted for other meals like salads, stir frys, coleslaws, or even just over some brown rice. The chicken with vegetables and walnuts is fantastic all by itself. If any of this seems complex or time consuming (it's not), just make the chicken portion of the recipe.
Lime Hot Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 stalks lemongrass, cut in to 1" pieces and beaten with the back of a knife.
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp plum sauce (optional)
- Juice of one lime
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 lb. chicken breast cut in to 1/2 inch cubes
Filling and Assembly
- 16 large romaine leaves
- 1/3 cup corn oil
- 2 tsp crushed schezuan pepper corns
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup finely sliced scallion
- 1/2 cup finely sliced celery
- 1/2 cup finely julienne red cabbage
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp finely julienned scallions (for garnish)
- Whisk together the water, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, and rice wine. Add chicken and toss. Set aside for two hours.
Lime Hot Sauce
- Whisk cornstarch in cold water and set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the water, lemongrass, red pepper, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain and discard the solids.
- Add orange juice, cream, plum sauce, and lime juice.
- Add cornstarch mixture and whisk in to sauce. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened.
- Simmer for minute then remove from heat. Set aside and reheat before serving.
- Blanch romain leaves in hot water until playable, about 20 seconds per side.
- Remove from hot water and place in ice water.
- Place on top of, and cover with, paper towel to dry.
- Drain chicken and reserve marinade.
- Heat oil in large skillet over high heat.
- Add Szechuan pepper corns, sauté for 15 seconds.
- Add garlic and ginger, sauté for 15 seconds.
- Add chicken, sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add walnuts, sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the marinade liquid, sauté for 1 minute.
- Turn off heat, combine remaining ingredients (except for garnish).
To assemble the romaine packets, lay one leaf out flat and add 1/4 cup of the chicken to the center. Bring the bottom up and over the chicken and roll away a bit so it's tucked under the chicken. Bring the left and right sides in tightly, then fold the top up and over the form rolling away from you to complete the package. Set aside, seam side down on a sheet pan. At this point, you could cover with plastic wrap if you're not serving right away. Or just eat it as is 🙂
- Preheat the over to 350°F.
- Bake wraps for 8-10 minutes. Longer if they're not room temp.
- Heat up the lime hot sauce while the wraps bake in the oven and serve spooned over top with a garnish of scallion.