Cashew Chicken Lettuce Tacos

For the first time in I can’t remember how many years, Trevor and I are taking a beach vacation this spring. This will be the first time with the kids, so much of the trip will be different than “the old days” but one thing never seems to change – the looming anxiety over wearing a swimsuit. Time to increase the protein intake and decrease the carb intake. And by carb intake I mean Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (the timing of the release of the Tonight Dough flavor is maddening, because man does that look good). I cracked open a William Sonoma Cookbook a friend gave to me at Christmas, titled Good For You (link here). I figured it was a good place to start, and chose these Cashew Chicken Lettuce Tacos for dinner on Sunday. There were a few more steps than I would prefer on a weeknight, but I presume that gets easier with familiarity of the style of cooking (I don’t do a lot of stir-fry). The tacos were very tasty, and even better warmed up the next day. The recipe, with some adaptations from the original (link here) is included below.


Reality Check. I thought I would make the dish even healthier by replacing the cashews with water chestnuts and a little extra seasoning, hoping to achieve the crunch and saltiness of the nuts. I told my mom about the recipe the next day and she responded, “but why did you do that? Water chestnuts have a surprising amount of carbs whereas cashews don’t.” Um. Water chestnuts have carbs? That seems ridiculous. And unfair. They have zero flavor, right? For some reason I find it irritating.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Tacos


2 heads Romaine lettuce hearts
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs. hoisin sauce
1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. grapeseed or canola oil
1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 green onions, white and light green portions, sliced
1 jalapeño chili, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw cashews


In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and cornstarch. Set aside.

In a wok or a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the grapeseed oil until almost smoking. Stir fry the garlic, green and red bell peppers, green onions and jalapeño to the wok and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken to the wok and add the cashews. Whisk the soy sauce mixture to recombine, add to the wok, and stir-fry until the sauce is nicely thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Scrape the contents of the pan onto a warmed platter. Serve immediately with the lettuce leaves.

2 Comments on Cashew Chicken Lettuce Tacos

  1. Mary Ann O'Connell
    February 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm (9 years ago)

    Yum. Asian flavors that I can do gluten free. I have GF soy sauce and make my own hoisin, so … Thanks!!!

    • Kerry
      February 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks Mary Ann! I’ve been meaning to ask you about gluten free – it’s going well, right? And impressive on making your own hoisin – I was happy to see how healthy that is, because it’s quite yummy! (I had presumed it was kind of high in sugar and/or carbs.)


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