Chicken and Walnuts in Lettuce Puffs with Chinese Rice

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Linda Gassenheimer Tribune News Service (TNS)

Stir-fried chicken, walnuts and vegetables in lettuce puffs is one of my favorite dishes. Crisp, cool lettuce topped with warm chicken and vegetables combine to create a taste and texture sensation.

This is a 20-minute meal. As with most Chinese recipes, there are several ingredients to be prepared, but the actual cooking time is only about 4 to 5 minutes.

Helpful Hints:


— Use toasted sesame oil if available in your market. It gives a smoky flavor.

— Dry sherry can be substituted for the Chinese rice wine.


— Prepare walnuts and chicken.

— While chicken marinates, prepare all other ingredients.

— Start rice.

— Stir-fry the dish.

Shopping List:

To buy: 2 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 bottle oyster sauce*, 1 small container unsalted walnuts, 1 bottle sesame oil, 1 can sliced canned water chestnuts, 1 package long-grain white rice, 1 package shiitake mushrooms, 1 small head iceberg lettuce

Staples: minced garlic, salt, black peppercorns



Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2-tablespoons oyster sauce*

3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided use

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, diced

1/2 cup drained sliced canned water chestnuts (2 1/2 ounces)

1/4 cup unsalted walnut pieces

8 small iceberg lettuce cups, (Inner leaves from lettuce that curve into a cup)

Place chicken in a bowl with oyster sauce and let stand 5 minutes. Heat wok over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Add chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add garlic, mushrooms and water chestnuts. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Add remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Cook to heat through a few seconds. Add walnuts and toss to coat. Remove from heat.To serve: Divide 4 lettuce cups between 2 dinner plates. Spoon some of chicken mixture into each lettuce cup, wrap and eat.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 370 calories, 179 calories from fat, 19.9 g total fat, 2.6 g saturated fat, 5 g monounsaturated fat, 72 mg cholesterol, 513 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 3.31 g dietary fiber, 1.5 g sugars, 29.4 g protein

Exchanges: 1 1/2 carbohydrate, 4 lean meat, 2 fats


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 cup long-grain white rice

3/4 cup water

3 scallions, sliced (1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place rice in a medium-size sauce pan. Add water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Stir, lower heat to medium, cover and continue to boil, about 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir to make sure no rice sticks to the bottom of the pan. If rice is still very moist, simmer uncovered until only a few drops of moisture remain. Add scallions, oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let mature 5 minutes. Loosen grains before serving.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 197 calories, 24 calories from fat, 2.6 g total fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 mg sodium, 38.8 g carbohydrate, 1.3 g dietary fiber, 0.6 g sugars, 3.8 g protein

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch

*Look for oyster sauce containing per tablespoon: 9 calories, 492 mg sodium.

(From “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market” by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetes Association. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Gassenheimer’s latest book is “Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals,” published by the American Diabetes Association. To order either book call 1-800-232-6733 or at ©2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC