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Chicken Bundles with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Yield: 12 bundles, which will serve 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 dried Chinese black mushrooms
  • 1 large or 2 small heads Boston lettuce
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeño chilies, minced (for a milder dish, seed the chiles before mincing.)
  • 2 stalks celery, very finely diced
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, very finely diced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped dry roasted peanuts (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh mint or cilantro, washed and stemmed
  • Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (see below)

For the Wok Sauce

  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. honey, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch Wash and dry the chicken breasts and trim off any fat. Chop the chicken breast as finely as possible with a cleaver. Soak the mushrooms in hot water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain, stem, and finely chop the mushrooms. (Save the soaking liquid for later use in soups.)

Peel 12 large whole leaves off the head of lettuce. (Save any remaining lettuce for salads.) Arrange the leaves around the outside of a large platter. Combine the ingredients for the wok sauce in a mixing bowl and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Heat a non stick wok or frying pan over high heat. Swirl in the oil. Add the garlic, scallions, and chilies and stir-fry until fragrant but not brown, about 15 seconds. Add the chicken, celery, water chestnuts, and black mushrooms and stir-fry until cooked, about 2 minutes. Stir the wok sauce to redissolve the cornstarch and add it to the chicken mixture with the bean sprouts. Stir-fry for 1 minute, or until the bean sprouts are tender but not soft. Remove the wok from the heat and stir in the peanuts, if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the mint leaves. Transfer the chicken mixture to a serving bowl and place it in the center of the platter with the lettuce leaves. ( You can serve it hot or at room temperature.)

To serve, have each guest place a heaping spoonful of chicken mixture in a lettuce leaf and fold it up like a blintz. Provide each guest with a small bowl of the dipping sauce.

173 Calories per serving
13 g Protein
5 g Fat
20 g Carbohydrate
565 mg Sodium
27 mg Cholesterol


About 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbs. fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded as finely as possible

Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the honey. Divide the sauce among 4 tiny bowls for serving.

30 Calories per serving
1 g Protein; 0 g Fat
0 g Saturated Fat
6 g Carbohydrate
114 mg Sodium
2 mg Cholesterol

Reproduced by permission from Viking.
High Flavor Low-Fat Chicken © 1996 by Steve Raichlen

WINE RECOMMENDED: Alsacian gewurtztraminer


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