Chicken Corn Pine Nut Lettuce Wrap (松子玉米炒鸡米)
August 14, 2021  Print
As I said in my previous post, Chicken Corn Egg Drop Soup, I have been making more dishes using fresh sweet corn because right now is prime corn season. Today’s recipe Chicken Corn Pine Nut Lettuce Wrap is another simple recipe combining fresh sweet corn kernels with small chicken cubes and pine nuts. I like to scoop out a few spoons of the dish onto lettuce leaves when serving. The combination is amazing.
Don’t skip the pine nuts. They give a unique flavor and aroma to this dish. The lettuce leaf is the icing on the cake, adding a crispy and cooling texture. It also serves as a wrapper. For a vegetarian version of this dish, replace the chicken with some baked tofu (cut into small cubes). You can also add some diced bell peppers for a more colorful effect.
You can even use this recipe for a buffet style dinner party. Just put the lettuce leaves on the side so people can serve themselves with their preferred portion size. And the best thing is that it takes little time to complete this dish.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
- 1/2 lb (~225g) of boneless and skinless chicken meat
- 1 fresh sweet corn cob (husk and silk removed)
- 1 to 2 green onions
- a few lettuce leaves 1
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (also known as pignoli)
- 1/4 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce 2
- 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- First cut the chicken meat into long strips. Then stack a few strips together and cut them into small cubes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (0.6 to 1.2 cm) thick. Put the chicken cubes in a small bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, mixing well. Slowly add the 2 tablespoons of water (1 tablespoon at a time) until all the water is absorbed by the chicken cubes. Let the chicken cubes marinate for at least 10 minutes on the counter.
- While marinating the chicken, prepare the other ingredients. Use a chef’s knife to remove all the kernels from the fresh sweet corn cob onto a large plate. Chop the green onions into thin slices. Rinse and dry the lettuce leaves. Set aside.
- Heat a well seasoned skillet or wok under medium-high heat. When the skillet is getting hot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then add the chicken cubes, stirring immediately. Add the 1/4 teaspoon of dark soy sauce and keep tossing and stirring until chicken cubes are 80% cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken cubes to a bowl and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the same skillet (or another one) and set the heat to medium. When the oil is warm, add the corn kernels and pine nuts, stirring and tossing frequently for 2 minutes. Then add the mostly-cooked chicken cubes from step 3 and stir fry together with the corn kernels and pine nuts for another minute. Transfer everything out to a shallow bowl.
- Scoop portions of the cooked chicken and pine nuts onto lettuce leaves. Eat directly or after wrapping a bit with the leaves. Enjoy!
- Any lettuce with relatively large or wide leaves should work. I’ve used iceberg lettuce, Romaine lettuce, and even Belgian endives.
- A little bit of dark soy sauce adds a nice caramel color to the dish. If you don’t have it, you can substitute it with 1/4 teaspoon of molasses. If you don’t care for the color, you can skip it.
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