This is wonderful finger food! Boneless chicken breast (it could be shrimp, crawfish, a different bird…) is sauteed with Asian ingredients like ginger, black mushrooms, water chestnuts, rice wine, oyster sauce, the list goes on. It is served on a platter surrounded by lettuce leaves and puffed fried rice noodles. Pack a little filling and a few noodles in a lettuce leaf, roll it up, and it is an instant appetizer.
- Iceberg Lettuce - 1 Head
- Boneless chicken breast - 1 lb (alt. shrimp, crawfish, or squab), skinned and minced
- Vegetable Oil - Approximately 6 3/4 cups
- Rice Noodles - 1 small package
- Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- Ginger - 1/2 teaspoon, minced fresh
- Celery hearts - 4-6, finely diced
- Chinese Black Mushrooms - 4-6, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, finely diced
- Carrot - 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
- Water Chestnuts - 8-12, finely diced
- Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
- Rice Wine - 1 tablespoon (alt. dry sherry)
- White Vermouth - 1 teaspoon
- Light soy sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Oyster Sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Chicken Stock - 3 1/2 tablespoons
- Sesame Seed Oil - 1 teaspoon
- Cornstarch - 1 teaspoon, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
- Hoisin sauce
- Green Onions - 4, white part only, julienned
- Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
Clean and separate the lettuce. Using kitchen shears, trim the thick rib off each leaf. Refrigerate until presentation.
In a small bowl, toss the chicken with 1/2 cup of the vegetable oil.
Place 4 cups of oil in a wok and heat to 375 F. Add the rice noodles. When they puff and float (this happens almost instantly), remove them from the pan and drain in a colander. Clean and reheat the wok. Pour in 2 cups of oil. Add the chicken and gently stir-fry until the meat is almost cooked through. Use a strainer to remove and drain the chicken.
Clean and reheat the wok. Stir-fry the garlic, ginger, chicken, and diced vegetables in 2 tablespoons of oil. Flavor with sugar, rice wine, vinegar, and soy sauce. Combine the oyster sauce, chicken stock, sesame oil, cornstarch and water, and salt and pepper. When the liquid in the wok comes to a boil, pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Remove from heat.
Break up the rice noodles and place in a ring around the edge of a large serving platter. Place the chicken and vegetable filling in the center of the platter. To assemble the lettuce blossoms, place a dollop of hoisin sauce in the bottom of a lettuce leaf. Top with some of the rice noodles and filling. Top with green onion. Roll closed and eat with your hands, taco-style.