Chicken Stir-fry Lettuce Wraps

By: Sheilah Kaufman

We are always looking for ways to mix up our weekly meals. For stir-fry night, try filling leaves of lettuce with your stir-fry mixture rather than cooking up a batch of fried rice. This is a great example of fusion cooking (ingredients or ideas from several cultures are mixed), plus it makes lettuce eating more enjoyable. 


  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tbsp. pale dry sherry or white wine
  • head of Boston lettuce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • 2  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved and cut into very thin slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • hot sauce - optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Toast pine nuts by placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and baking them for a few minutes until lightly browned. Do not burn. Remove and set aside.

In a bowl combine the cornstarch, egg white, and wine and toss chicken with this mixture.

Cover and chill for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Separate the lettuce leaves and wash under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.

In a bowl combine the soy sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, and scallions.

Place a wok or a large skillet over high heat and pour in a few tablespoons of oil, swirling it around the pan to coat the bottom.

Cook chicken in small batches (in the wok), stirring constantly. Push cooked chicken up the sides of the wok, add more oil, heat and repeat cooking of chicken until it is all done.

Add the soy mixture, mixing well, and cook for another minute or two.

Toss in cilantro and pine nuts, stir, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste, and a dash of hot sauce if desired.

Place in a bowl, and serve with a platter of lettuce leaves, having each person place some chicken mixture on a lettuce leaf, rolling it up, and eating it.

Dipping sauces can also be used if desired.

Serves 2 - 4.

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A popular lecturer and expert on Mediterranean cooking and Jewish culinary history and traditions, Sheilah has been a guest speaker for Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, the Textile Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show, Capital Speakers, Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Brandeis, Culinary Historians of Washington, the International Jewish Genealogy Convention, diplomatic groups, and the Turkish Embassy.  In addition, she is a popular lecturer for Jewish Federations, Hadassah, diplomatic groups, and Oasis, and has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs (including Martha Stewart Live) across the nation. Sheilah also does consulting and has developed recipes and served as a national spokesperson for a number of international companies. Visit Sheilah's website, here