These chicken lettuce cups are a wonderful fusion of refreshing and fulfilling–the richness of comfort food with the rejuvenation of fresh veggies. This is a dish that walks the line between sweet and savory and is all the more complex and enjoyable because of it.
It all begins with the sauce. Hoisin and minced ginger provide a sweet, spicy, barbecue-inspired set of flavors enhanced by the herbality of cloves. Soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and rice vinegar mount a fleet of savory notes to which sesame oil adds its signature toastiness.
The chicken follows suit, introducing more garlic and ginger to enhance the dish’s sweet and savory profile. Scallions provide a pleasant bite while water chestnuts lend a crunchy texture. As the chicken and the sauce come together, flavors of salt, herbs, spices, and more evoke a sweet and savory profile that’s overwhelming in the most enjoyable of ways. The lettuce and carrots help keep the richer elements fresh and lighten up otherwise heavy direction of the dish.
La Crema’s 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay mixes surprisingly well with this dish. The wine’s natural oakiness and spice work well with the savory aspect of the dish while its notes of fruit go along well with the sweet aspect of the dish. If you’re looking for a good excuse to make this dish, the Chinese New Year is actually coming up in a couple weeks. Make sure to head over to La Crema’s blog to grab these recipe for this delightful dish. Enjoy!
Thank you to La Crema Wines for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own.