Lettuce Bundles with Spicy Peanut Noodles
This is a great dish to serve at a casual lunch or dinner party. Just set out all the ingredients, and let people make their own lettuce bundles. Store-bought roasted duck or chicken can be used.
- 2 boneless whole duck or chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup soy sauce, plus 3 tablespoons for peanut sauce
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 piece (3/4 inches) ginger, peeled and cut in half
- 2 1/4 teaspoons ground fresh chile paste
- 7 tablespoons smooth, good-quality peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 6 ounces vermicelli noodles, or capellini (angel hair) noodles
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped, toasted Spanish or other peanuts
- 2 ounces garlic chives or scallions, cut into 4-inch lengths
- 1 Japanese or Kirby cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 Boston or other butterhead lettuce, leaves separated
Place duck or chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag along with 1/2 cup soy sauce, and let marinate for 1 hour. Heat a lightly oiled grill or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Grill duck or chicken breasts until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side for duck and 4 to 6 minutes per side for chicken. Let cool slightly, and shred with your fingers, or cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips with a knife.
In a food processor, pulse garlic and ginger until finely chopped. Add chile paste, peanut butter, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, sugar, peanut oil, lime juice, and 4 1/2 tablespoons water, and pulse until smooth. If a thinner sauce is desired, add 1 or 2 more teaspoons water, and pulse to combine. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Dress the noodles with 1/2 cup of the peanut sauce, and transfer to a medium serving bowl. If desired, set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice to keep the noodles chilled at the table. Arrange peanuts, remaining sauce, and prepared fillings in various serving dishes on the table. Guests can create their own rolls by wrapping noodles, a little sauce, and their choice of meat and fillings in a lettuce leaf.