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Thai Chicken and Grilled Shiitake Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
We stuffed ‘Buttercrunch’ lettuce with Thai-spiced grilled chicken, meaty shiitakes, and rice noodles to create these festive wraps, but you could use radicchio, endive, or ruffled red ‘Lola Rosa’ leaves, if you prefer. The spicy peanut vinaigrette is extra racy if you toss in a finger lime – a diminutive citrus fruit that has a milder, sweeter flavor than its full-size counterpart and a slightly crunchy texture.
5–7 shiitake mushrooms, (cleaned, stems removed)
Olive oil, (as needed)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs (substitute chicken breasts if you like)
1 teaspoon Thai-style red curry powder (we used Private Selection brand)
Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette (recipe below)
7–9 sprigs fresh cilantro, (finely chopped)
6–8 leaves fresh lemon basil, (finely chopped, plus a few extra leaves for garnish)
6–8 sprigs fresh mint, (finely chopped)
1–2 tablespoons fresh chives, (finely chopped)
1 carrot, (grated on a bias into strips using the small holes of a box grater)
½ cup cooked rice noodles (we used Maifun rice sticks)
Salted roasted peanuts, chopped (we used Virginia peanuts)
Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Evenly coat mushroom caps with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. In a baking pan, drizzle chicken with olive oil, season with red curry powder, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Grill mushrooms and chicken, turning halfway through cooking, until tops of mushrooms are blackened and chicken is browned on both sides and cooked through, 10–13 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette.
In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, basil, mint, chives, carrots, and rice noodles. Cut mushrooms and chicken into thin strips and add to bowl. (You can slice chicken in half first to get it even thinner; hold your knife parallel to the cutting surface.) Add about ¼ cup dressing to the filling and toss to combine; be careful not to overdress.
Stuff each lettuce leaf with chicken and mushroom mixture like you would fill a taco and arrange them on a serving plate. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and chopped peanuts. Garnish with reserved lemon basil leaves and lime wedges.
Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon peeled, roughly chopped fresh ginger
½ small shallot, (roughly chopped)
3–6 slices Serrano chile pepper, (according to desired spiciness)
1 finger lime, (peel on, sliced (optional))
2 tablespoons salted roasted peanuts ((we used Virginia peanuts))
2 capfuls rice wine vinegar
1 capful gluten-free tamari
½ capful toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of ½ lime
4–6 tablespoons olive oil
In a blender, combine ginger, shallot, chile, finger lime (if using), peanuts, vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, mustard, and pepper to taste. Begin blending on slow speed, gradually increasing speed until mixture is semi smooth. Turn off blender and add lime juice (you can add a little water, too, if mixture is very thick). Over medium-low speed, gradually add olive oil, blending until vinaigrette is emulsified.
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