Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups recipe by

Coincidentally, American and Chinese families will both be celebrating this Sunday night with a feast.  And for Chinese families living in the US, a fusion feast of Super Bowl snacks and traditional Chinese New Year dishes.

Sunday night is the eve of Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival 春节), where Chinese families like mine back in Malaysia will come together for a “reunion dinner”.  Since I won’t be back this year, and most likely be watching the Super Bowl that night, I decided to make a fun, finger-foods dinner for Chinese New Year with these Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups.

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups by

Even if you’re not celebrating Chinese New Year, these chicken lettuce cups are a great way to change things up this Super Bowl, and give yourself and your guests a healthier option.  They’re delicious with a cold beer too!

vegetables for asian lettuce cups for chinese new year

For these Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups, start by stir-frying chicken with a colorful mix of red & orange bell peppers and cucumber, in a savory homemade sauce – spiced with our handcrafted Penang-style Chinese Five Spice.

That’s it for cooking.  Just take out separate dishes for the toppings – chopped cashews, scallions, and shredded carrot.  And a plate for fresh green butter lettuce leaves.  Lettuce symbolizes Spring on the Chinese New Year table, which I’m sure we’re all wishing for earlier this year!

butter lettuce for asian lettuce cups recipe

While lettuce itself symbolizes Spring, the act of bundling food into a lettuce cup represents having a child soon. So anyone wishing to have a baby this year, making these lettuce cups may just be the meal to start out your New Year.

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups by

Whether you’re celebrating with family and friends for Chinese New Year or the Super Bowl or both, may these auspicious Chinese lettuce cups bring you lots of luck for yourself, for your family, and for your football team!

Gong Xi Fa Cai – wishing you a very Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups 
by Season with Spice
Makes 8-10 lettuce cups

1 head of butter lettuce – leaves washed and separated
1 cup unsalted cashews - chopped
2 medium carrots – julienned into thin strands

For the sauce: 
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp of Season with Spice’s Penang-style Chinese Five Spice
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sweet chili sauce, or Sriracha sauce
1/8 tsp of Season with Spice’s White Pepper, or to taste

1 tbsp peanut oil
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
2 scallions – chopped, and separated into green and white parts
1 lb boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts – diced into small cubes
2 small red & orange bell peppers – diced
1/2 cup cucumber – diced

1. In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Whisk well and set aside.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in oil to coat all sides of the wok. When the oil is hot, add in garlic, ginger, and the white scallion pieces. Stir-fry for just a few seconds, or until aromatic. Add in the chopped chicken pieces, and stir-fry over high heat until almost cooked though. Add in the bell peppers and continue to cook for another minute. Add in the sauce. Give everything a few tosses to combine. Stir-fry until the sauce has cooked down and coated everything nicely. Remove from heat. Have a quick taste and adjust any seasonings if desired. Add in the diced cucumber, and toss again to combine. Dish out in a serving bowl.
3. On the table, place out separate dishes of lettuce leaves, the stir-fried chicken & vegetables, chopped cashews, julienned carrots, and the green scallion pieces. Then have the family or your party guests make their own lettuce cups.