Lettuce Bundles with Spicy Peanut Noodles


Lettuce Bundles with Spicy Peanut Noodles

1/2 cup Spanish or other Peanuts

2 Boneless Whole Chicken Breasts

1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce

Canola Oil

1 Large Garlic Clove

1 1/2 inch Piece of Ginger, peeled and cut in half

2 1/2 tsp Chili Paste

1/2 cup and 3 Tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter

3 Tbsp Sugar

1/2 cup and 1 1/2 tsp peanut oil

Juice of 1 Lime

4 1/2 Tbsp Water, or more if needed

Coarse Salt

5 oz Vermicelli or Capellini (Angel Hair) Noodles

2 oz garlic chives or scallions, cut into 4 inch lengths

1 Japanese or Kirby Cucumber, thinly sliced

2 Heads Boston or other head lettuce, leaves separated


Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F

Place the peanuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet: toast until golden and aromatic, 5 - 8 minutes. Shake the pan 1/2 way through to ensure the nuts toast evenly. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop the nuts and set aside.

Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag with a 1/2 cup of soy sauce, let marinade for 1 hour. Heat a lightly oiled grill or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through, 4-7 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, and shred with your fingers or cut into 1/2 inch-wide strips with a knife.

In a food processor, pulse the garlic and ginger until finely chopped. Add remaining 3 Tbsp soy sauce, the chili paste, peanut butter, sugar, peanut oil, lime juice and water and pulse until smooth. If a thinner sauce is desired, add 1 or 2 more teaspoons water and pulse to combine. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water add noodles and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Dress the noodles with 1/2 cup of peanut sauce and transfer to a medium serving bowl. If desired, set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice to keep the noodles chilled at the table. Arrange the reserved peanuts, remaining sauce, chives, cucumbers and the lettuce in various serving dishes on the table. Guests can create their choice of meat and filling in a lettuce wrap.