Okay, first things first.
Miso + crunchy peanut butter + chili spiced chicken + grapes. It doesn’t even make sense, you say.
Oh, but friend, it most definitely DOES. It’s a classic chicken salad meets an Asian chicken salad meets a lettuce wrap – all those flavors and textures together? just… 👌.
It’s been way too long since I made a meal that’s as lunchable as this one. I mean, I definitely have a deep, longtime love of warm lunches – a creamy soup and a melty-cheese panini combo is basically everything my life is meant to be and more. Minnesota fall, winter, and spring just requires this of us.
But there is something to be said for that quick chicken-salad style lunch that is addictingly delicious eaten straight outta the fridge, and in this case, wrapped in light and delicate butter lettuce leaves. Or if you’re being extra self-generous, scooped up with crackers or chips. It’s ready to be an amazing lunch for you at barely a moment’s notice. Grab and devour.
I guess the same is true for dinner, because you know those nights when you finally finish work and start thinking about dinner – and suddenly realize that you still have 800 things to do (read: 800 episodes to watch on Netflix) before you go to bed? The struggle is just so very real. Here’s the trick, though: in those moments, all is right in the world when you remember that you have leftover Creamy Miso Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps – or your own variation of that – waiting for you in the fridge.
Making this on the weekends to give yourself a safety net for meals throughout the week? HIGHLY RECOMMEND. 👊
I hereby give this recipe meal lifesaver status.
So… let me read your mind.
GRAPES?! Grapes. I don’t know where grapes have been all my Asian-flavor-inspired lettuce wrap life, but they are never leaving now that this amazing combo has made its way into my mouth.
If I can go there, it’s kind of like having those sweet bites of little canned mandarin oranges in your Asian salads, but better because, well, they’re not mandarin oranges from a can – they’re the sweetest, most bursty little red grapes that have been lovingly grown in sunny California, and bonus! you probably already have them in your fridge, right? Grapes for lyfe.
We’re approaching the fall time, and you might be starting to feel a little nervy because aren’t grapes going out of season soon? Good news, yo. Grapes from California (which are considered our local grape here in the United States since 99% of U.S.-grown grapes are, in fact, grown in California!) are actually available from May through January. Hello I just said JANUARY. Winter time! California grapes will still be around, ripe and juicy and ready to eat. 👅
Celebrate the good times!
Okay, to review this Miso Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wrap situation.
- ideal for straight-from-the-fridge lunches
- also ideal for ready-made dinners
- adaptable to lettuce or crackers or chips or bread or anything, really
- loaded with flavor and texture – think silky smooth sauce, chili spiced chicken, happy grapes, crunchy nuts, herbs and other yums…
And you’re off! With yummy lettuce wraps in your sights.
- For the Sauce:
- ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons miso
- ½ cup broth or water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 green onions, minced
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced (optional)
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups red, green or black Grapes from California, halved
- butter lettuce leaves for serving
- lime juice
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
- Heat a grill or skillet over medium high heat. Coat the chicken with the chili powder and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, add a little bit of butter if necessary to prevent sticking, and add the chicken. Cook for a few minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked through. I like to let it get it really golden brown on the outside. Set aside and let cool for at least five minutes. Cut or shred into small pieces.
- In a mixing bowl, combine about half of the sauce with the chicken and the grapes. Add more sauce as needed to get everything evenly coated.
- Stuff each butter lettuce leaf with the mixture. Add water or oil to the remaining sauce until it pours evenly off the end of a spoon - use it to drizzle over the top. Squeeze with lime juice when serving if you're that kind of person. 👌
Miso can be found in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores. The stuff I buy just comes in a little container similar to sour cream or yogurt. Ask your grocer!
Miso paste is thick and very salty. In this recipe it adds flavor and weight to the sauce. If you can't find miso, you will need to compensate for the sauce thickness AND for the saltiness. For example, use more peanut butter to thicken, but also add a little more soy sauce for saltiness.
This post is sponsored by Grapes from California! Yummmmm.