I was getting ready to post a recipe for the best challah I’ve ever made last week when life got in the way. The pictures were uploaded, but I couldn’t get it together to write up the recipe and jot down something descriptive/encouraging/witty/profound to introduce it. Then, when I tried again this week, I was reminded that maybe it would be best to avoid posting a challah recipe during Passover. Luckily, I was almost simultaneously eating the leftovers of these lettuce wraps for lunch and the problem solved itself.
The sesame chicken is really simple to prepare. The chicken is cooked through and then simmered briefly with soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. You could certainly add some garlic or ginger, but the real magic here is in the mango-peanut salsa. Juicy sweet mangoes, peanuts, scallions, cilantro, and a little brown sugar come together to make the perfect sweet-savory-crunchy topping. I found myself taking quite a few extra tastes straight from the bowl.
- 1 head iceberg, bibb, or butter lettuce
- 1 mango, cut into bite-sized chunks
- ¾ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
- 3 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- ¼ cup lightly packed cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1-1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin or sake
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon corn starch
- Kosher salt
- Halve and core the lettuce. Rinse the lettuce under cold water for a minute or so, to clean it. Separate the leaves, saving any torn or small ones for salad. Set aside to dry.
- Combine the mango chunks, peanuts, scallions, cilantro, brown sugar, and a teaspoon of kosher salt. Check the seasoning and add more salt, as needed. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. While the chicken is cooking, mix the corn starch with the soy sauce, one tablespoon at a time. Add the mirin and sesame oil.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, add the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. The sauce will thicken and coat the chicken.
- Assemble wraps right before serving or bring the components to the table and let people make their own.