Our version of the classic Chinese restaurant dish brings in tart-hot Southeast Asian flavors. We've used medium-size lettuce leaves here for a main course; if you want to make appetizers, just choose small leaves.
1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons minced ginger, divided
1/4 cup good-quality hoisin sauce, such as Koon Chun or Lee Kum Kee
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons peanut butter, chunky or smooth
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
8 canned water chestnuts, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
1 or 2 jalapeño chiles, chopped
3/4 cup finely diced cucumber
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
12 lettuce-leaf "cups," using iceberg or butter lettuce, or a mix
How to Make It
Mix chicken with 1 tbsp. fish sauce, the sugar, and 2 tbsp. ginger in a small bowl; set aside. In another small bowl, stir hoisin sauce with lime juice, peanut butter, and remaining 1 tsp. fish sauce until smooth; set sauce aside.
Heat a large frying pan (not nonstick) over medium-high heat. Swirl in oil. Add garlic and remaining 1 tbsp. ginger and cook until fragrant. Add chicken and cook, stirring and breaking up chunks, until no longer pink, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add carrot, water chestnuts, green onions, lemongrass, and chiles and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute more. Add cucumber and peanuts and stir to combine. Add salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl.
To eat, spread some hoisin sauce on a lettuce cup. Top with chicken mixture, fold up, and eat with your hands.