Lorraine Wallace's Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Cups

Lorraine Wallace's Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Cups

[Photograph: Alexandra Grablewski]

Lettuce cups are always a good time: they're hands-on, tasty, and super quick to throw together. Adapted from Lorraine Wallace's Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken, these Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Cups combine lean ground chicken, ginger, and scallions in a sweet soy-honey glaze. Tossed with crunchy water chestnuts and cashews, they make for fine warm-weather eating.

What Worked: They're a lightning-quick dinner and one that's fairly healthy to boot. Add some crunchy carrots and cucumber slices and you've got an easy summer dinner.

What Didn't: This recipe ran a little sweet for our tastes. Next time we might splash in some lime juice for balance.

Suggested Tweaks: Speaking of balance, these lettuce cups do well with a bit of added heat. Have some sambal or sriracha on hand to give 'em a little kick. And if you'd like to bulk up this meal, a dish of cool sesame noodles or even blanched rice noodles would be a perfect starchy match.

Reprinted with permission from Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken by Lorraine Wallace. Copyright © 2012. Published by Wiley. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

  • Yield:serves 6
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons orange blossom honey
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
  • One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted cashews
  • 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, well washed, leaves separated


  1. 1.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and honey and set aside.

  2. 2.

    In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the ground chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic, ginger, and brown sugar. Add the scallions and cook for 2 minutes more.

  3. 3.

    Stir in the water chestnuts and the soy-honey mixture and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cashews. Place the lettuce leaves on a platter next to the bowl of chicken and allow the diners to fill their own lettuce leaves.