This recipe for chicken lettuce wraps with quick pickled carrots + puffed rice noodles is Thai / Southeast Asian inspired and full of flavor! They make a wonderful quick, easy and healthy weeknight dinner.
For the Puffed Rice Noodles
- Vegetable oil for frying
- vermicelli rice noodles
For the Quick Pickled Carrots + Shallots
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
- 2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
For the Chicken
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1–3 Thai bird chiles, minced, seeds removed for less heat
- 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 packed tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
- Boston bibb, butter or iceberg lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
- fresh cilantro, fresh mint, fresh Thai basil or a combination of all three, washed, dried and large stems removed
- Sriracha hot sauce
Make the Puffed Rice Noodles
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium heavy bottomed pot with high sides. Do not fill the pot more than 1/4 of the way up with oil. Heat until very hot and almost smoking, then drop in a small handful of rice noodles. They will puff up instantly. If they are not fully submerged in the oil, use a pair of tongs to flip them over so they puff up on the other side. Remove from the oil immediately and set on paper towels to drain. Make as much or as little as you’d like. They will keep in a zip top bag at room temperature for up to one week.
Make the Quick Pickled Carrots + Shallots
- Bring the vinegar, salt and sugar up to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat. Add the carrots and shallots to a bowl or mason jar and pour the vinegar over top. Allow to pickle for at least 15 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks. Remove from the brine before serving.
Make the Chicken Filling
- Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the shallots and stir until just starting to turn golden, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and chiles and continue stirring for another 15-30 seconds, being careful not to let it burn. Quickly add the ground chicken and use a wooden spatula to break it up into little bits. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper, then use the back of the spatula to press down on the chicken to help it get brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, chicken broth, soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved. Pour it into the pan with the chicken, and stir. Allow it to cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the scallions and remove from the heat.
- To serve, transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and top with the remaining scallions. Serve family style at the table along with the pickled carrots and shallots, puffed rice noodles, lettuce leaves, fresh herbs and Sriracha.
- Serving Size: 4
Keywords: Thai, chicken, ground chicken, lettuce, pickled carrots, Asian, Vietnamese, healthy