De-lish and Healthy Asian Lettuce Wraps

By Chef Mark Graves
Marko’s on 2nd, 135 S. 2nd Street, Decatur

We have at last survived the winter months and April is here! Now is when many people think of ways to rid the extra layers of winter fluff from midsections after being stuck indoors all winter long. Hey, swimsuit season is just a few months away, so combine your new gym membership with tightening up the diet. Yes, it’s time for some healthy cooking.

For a tasty, low-calorie and low-fat meal, try my Asian Lettuce Wraps. These flavorful wraps will have you second-guessing if they are really good for you!

One Asian wrap contains only 120 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat.


asian-lettuce-wrapsYields 10 lettuce wraps


1 1⁄4 lbs. chicken thighs, cubed
1 T. olive oil
1 C. onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 T. fresh ginger, minced
3⁄4 C. water chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 T. soy sauce
5 T. Hoison sauce
1 t. Sriracha sauce
Bibb Lettuce


1⁄2 C. peanuts
1⁄2 C. green onion, thinly sliced
1T. toasted sesame seeds

  1. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add chicken thighs and cook until nicely browned and completely cooked through. Set aside on a separate plate.
  2. Using the same pan, add onions, garlic and ginger. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then add water chestnuts and the cooked chicken to the mixture.
  3. On low heat add the Hoisin, soy sauce, and Sriracha. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Then let the mixture rest away from heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon chicken mixture into the Bibb lettuce leaves. Garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds and green onion.

Pairs Well With…

Mer Soleil UnoakedEven some of the strictest diets allow for a little alcohol consumption, so I would pair this dish with a glass of 2013 Silver Unoaked Chardonnay from Mer Soleil Vineyards. The clean, citrus note of this Chardonnay will pair nicely with the crisp freshness of the Asian Lettuce Wrap.

The 2013 Mer Soleil Unoaked Chardonnay is from Monterey County, California, where the cooler coastlines provide a natural early ripening for Chardonnay grapes. This Chardonnay is well balanced with a crisp acidity along with mid-palate notes of lemon meringue and citrus fruits. Mer Soleil retails for a humble $21.99.

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