Hoisin chicken in crisp lettuce

Hoisin chicken in crisp lettuce

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(4 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins - 30 mins Cook: 30 mins

Skill level



Serves 8 - 12

A healthy and light chicken dish that's perfect for a buffet

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 spring onions, chopped, green separated from white, plus 1 shredded for garnish
  • 200g minced chicken
  • 220g can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 3 Little Gem lettuces, each broken into 8 individual leaves

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  1. In a bowl, mix the sherry and cornflour to a smooth liquid. Add the soy and hoisin sauces, sugar and stock. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, toss in the garlic and whites of the spring onions and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Tip in the chicken and stir fry over a high heat until it colours, using the back of a spoon to break up any big lumps. Tip in the water chestnuts and stir fry for a further 1-2 minutes.
  3. Push the chicken mixture to one side of the wok. Pour the sherry mixture into the empty part and stir for 1-2 minutes until it bubbles and thickens. Combine thoroughly, then leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season and stir in the green spring onions and coriander.
  4. Lay the lettuce leaves on serving plates, spoon in the warm mixture without overfilling, and scatter with the shredded spring onion. Suggest your guests roll the lettuce up around the filling to make a shape that’s easy to eat as finger food.
  5. Prepare ahead; you can cook the filling the day before, leave to cool and store in a plastic container in the fridge overnight. Reheat it well for 5-10 minutes until hot, stirring all the time and adding a splash of hot water if it’s too dry.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2001

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hfriday's picture
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This recipe is phenomenal! I did make a few changes as I always do with recipes. Here are my suggestions:

1. Sherry is important, don't substitute it for anything else. Flavor comes through till the end
2. I used dark brown sugar instead of regular sugar
3. I didn't have chicken stock on hand so I just added water which is just as well - chineses sauces tend to be a little on the salty side. I didn't miss the chicken broth flavor
4. I added shiitake mushrooms (5 for the serving size above) and minced ginger (about half a teaspoon - I didn't want to overpower it but just wanted to give it an extra zing)

I served it with brown basmati rice since my husband insists on it and next time I can see myself adding cashew nuts for texture.

It was such a hit that I'm thinking of inviting people over for a chinese themed dinner!

ljp1968's picture
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Really nice and different as part of a Chinese buffet. Will definitely make them again!

elliereade's picture

We've tried this recipe with minced pork too and that's just as nice. We tend to add more hoisin and spices - depending on our mood. It's also nice with a touch of Chinese five spice. If you think of missing out the sherry, don't - it really makes a difference!

My hubby doesn't like lettuce, so we have also used prawn crackers as an alternative, although you have to serve yourself as if left, the cracker will go soggy!

ksm5979's picture

Just made this dish and it was easy and very moreish! I would suggest that you buy the more expensive Hoisin sauce as the cheaper stuff isnt as tasty, plus although organic Gem lettuce is more expensive the leaves are larger and you know what that means...!!

clairecv's picture
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Really looked forward to tucking into this, especially as the prep took a long time what with all the chopping, but I was really disappointed. The taste was so bland, only the hoisin sauce being noticeable, and the little gem lettuce leaves were so small you could hardly fit any filling in.

mrjpsycho's picture

I think these are a great dish for any Party. I have them on Christmas Eve for a great Buffet.