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Recipe: Chef Debra Ponzek’s Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Have a fridge full of staples, a family of finicky mouths to feed, and only a few minutes to get something on the table?

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If this sounds all too familiar, chances are you’ll love the dinnertime survival cookbook: delicious, inspiring meals for busy families by debra ponzek cookbookThe Dinnertime Survival Cookbook by Chef Debra Ponzek. She has the busy, modern-day family in mind, and her recipes make delicious meals come together in a snap.  With a focus on accessible recipes with only a few simple ingredients, this guide takes the humble pantry staple and transforms it in minutes into delicious restaurant-quality dishes.

Chef Debra says, “This is one of my favorite recipes in the cookbook, and always seems to be a hit. I also love the fact that I can prepare the chicken mixture ahead of time and reheat it when I’m ready to sit down. Makes for an easy and delicious dinner!”

The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook‘s Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps


  • 4 Tbsp of sesame or olive oil
  • 1  lb ground chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 1  piece of ginger (1-inch), peeled and finely minced
  • 4  oz water chestnuts, drained
  • ½  red pepper, finely diced
  • 4  scallions, chopped
  • 3  Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼  cup water
  • 12  Bibb lettuce leaves
  • sprigs of cilantro and mint


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the 2 Tbsp of the oil until shimmering. Add the ground chicken and cook, breaking up the pieces until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, and the remaining oil. Cook for one minute over medium heat. Next add the pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pepper is  just softened. Add the chicken and water chestnuts to the pan and stir to combine all of the ingredients.
  3. In a small cup, combine the hoisin, soy sauce, and water. Add to the chicken mixture along with the scallions and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and spoon into Bibb lettuce cups.
  4. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and mint.
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