Thai Lettuce Cups



It may be cold out and lettuce cups seem like a summery thing, but boy are they good.  This is the perfect food for flavor and hardly any calories.


Make the meat mixture


8 oz. mushrooms- finely chopped in the Cuisineart

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

5 cloves of garlic

1 inch of ginger root grated finely

2 T. fish sauce

2 T. Mirin

1 t. soy sauce

½ t. red pepper flakes

I small can of water chestnuts mined


In a fry pan sprayed with Pam cook the mushrooms on a medium heat for five mins.  Take out of the pan and set aside in bowl.  Put the garlic cloves in the cuisineart and chop finely, add the chicken thighs and pulse until minced.  Add the garlic and chicken to the fry pan and begin cooking on medium heat, add the ginger root.  After the chicken is almost cooked through, about five minutes add the fish sauce, mirin, soy and red pepper flakes.  Cook another two minutes add the water chestnuts to heat up.


Prep all the veggies:


Iceberg lettuce – cut head in half

Carrot Slivers

Marinated Cucumbers – English cucumbers thinly sliced with splenda, rice wine vinegar and fish sauce


Bean Sprouts

Cocktail peanuts

Optional Asian sweet and spicy sauce – I used a Shitake Soy ginger sauce



Carefully pull the lettuce leaves apart into cups.  Spoon two heaping spoonfuls of meat mixture into the cup; add some carrots, cucumbers, and bean sprouts.  Sprinkle a few peanuts and cilantro leaves on top and a spoonful of sauce.


It’s hard to eat neatly so have lots of napkins to clean the drippy parts off your chin.  You can thank me later.

Thai Slaw with Chicken and Peanuts

This is a really crunchy, satisfying summer salad.  I like to add the dressing right before serving so it does not get soggy.


6 cups of shredded Napa cabbage

2 cups of shredded red cabbage

10 green onions chopped – white and green parts

1 cup of shredded carrots

1 red pepper diced

½ cup red onion diced

½ cup chopped cilantro

1 pint cherry tomatoes halved


1/3-cup fish sauce

1/3 rice wine vinegar

8 packets of Splenda

2 T. limejuice

1 T. Sesame oil

1 T. water

2 cloves of garlic – minced

2 T. fresh ginger – minced

2 dried red chilies – crushed or ½ t. red pepper flakes

3 half chicken breasts- grilled and shredded

6T. Chopped peanuts

Mix all the veggies together.

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake up.

Add the chicken to the veggies and toss together with the dressing.  Only pour about half the dressing on at once and see if you need more after tossing.

Put in individual bowls and sprinkle with a tablespoon of peanut on each bowl.

You can get at least 6 dinner size servings out of this.

You can use other vegetables, like diced cucumber, avocado, hot peppers, zucchini, green cabbage, Savoy cabbage, whatever you like.

Nam Prik Ong- the non Prik Chicken way

Prik means Pork, not your brother-in-law


This is a Thai dish that is normally made with fresh ground pork (Not sausage), but to make it much lighter I have made it with ground chicken breast.  The calorie difference is 200 for pork and only 120 for chicken.  If you don’t care about calories use the pork, it is better.


1 inch of ginger root –peeled

½ cup of cilantro stems

4 dried red chilies – they are small about 1 inch each

1 shallot

4 cloves garlic

1 lb. of ground chicken or pork

2t. Soy sauce

1 pint of cherry tomatoes -halved

4 green onions chopped- both green and white parts

Green cabbage leaves


Put the ginger, cilantro stems, chilies, shallot and garlic in a food processor and run it until everything is mashed up but not quite a pulp.  Add the meat and mix well.


Heat a skillet on medium high and if you are using chicken, spray with Pam, pork has enough fat not to need Pam.  Dump the meet mixture in the skillet and add soy sauce.  Cook, for about 6 minutes, stirring often.  Add the cherry tomatoes and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, mashing them into the meat.  Remove from heat.


Cut the head of cabbage in half and separate the leaves carefully into cups.  Wash and dry.  Sprinkle with sea salt and spoon meat mixture into cup.  Top with a little green onion.