I’m going to do something a little different this time. I’m going to post my Ingredients/Directions on the top of the post, then a story (cuz I like to chattty chat chat) with the step-by-step photos.
Lettuce wraps – with diced chicken, mango/avocado salsa (serves 2 to 4)
1/3 red onion, diced into small chunks
1 mango, diced into small chunks
1 avocado, diced into small chunks
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 chicken breast, diced into small chunks
2 tsp. soy sauce
dash of 5-Spice powder
dash of pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch (or flour)
1/2 head of lettuce for wraps
1) Chop onion, mango, and avocado. Reserve a small handful of chopped onion for the diced chicken. Place remainder of onion with mango and avocado in a bowl. Squirt lemon juice, mix lightly, and put in refrigerator until ready to serve.
2) Marinate diced chicken chunks with onions, soy sauce, 5-Spice, cornstarch and pepper.
3) Drizzle olive oil onto a non-stick pan. Cook the diced chicken until browned. Scoop onto plate to serve.
4) Wash strips of lettuce and pat dry. Cut them to the sizes you want served. Serve as appetizers with separate plates of diced chicken, mango salsa, and lettuce. Let your guests/family make their own wraps.
Story-time with Soupbelly
I can’t cook.
It’s a bold statement. But according to 98% of the people closest to me, I can’t cook.
When my husband and I first started dating, he exclaimed that I was a great cook after eating the very first meal I made him (just a grilled panini, nothing special). I didn’t even make him my Roast Chicken with Butter and Rosemary, with a side of Mashed Potatoes topped with Chives and Bacon, and Homemade Gravy. I just figured he had low standards.
My parents still tell me I should learn how to cook. I am quite a neat freak, so when they visited my apartment, and saw the SPARKLING clean, sanitized, ‘looks like it’s never been used’ kitchen, my dad suggested I should try using it more often. If I left it dirty to let them know it was being used often, well, I just can’t. I like to have everything SPOTLESS.
I remember back when I had my own apartment, I invited my parents and brother over for dinner. My mother did something straight out of Everybody Loves Raymond. Let’s just say she’s Marie and I’m Debra. She came over with trays of food (stir-fry noodles, spring rolls, etc.) and when I asked her why she brought it knowing I was cooking, she shrugged and said, “Just in case”!
I’m NOT badmouthing my parents! According to my entire extended family, my mother is the best cook. I still can’t top the dishes she makes, nor do I intend to. And you know what? I’ll live with that. I had INCREDIBLY high standards up against me. There was no way to compete.
Once I met my Chris, I would cook for him, and he would actually eat my meals. That was something foreign to me. I WAS FEEDING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. AND HE WASN’T KEELING OVER IN PAIN. On top of that, he actually liked it. It brings me joy to see that someone else could enjoy eating something I created.
Deep down inside I still feel like a hack, a poser, a pretend chef. Like I’m just making play food with my play kitchen, playing house, and he’s eating it just for my benefit. I know, I have serious issues.
Over the years, Chris would encourage me to cook more, try more recipes out. Instead of rating my cooking on how well I cook Cantonese dishes, I rated it by how well it compared to the best dishes I tried anywhere, in general. That got me out of my negative thinking and expanded my horizons.
When I started this blog, I only told 2 people about it. My husband, and another good friend. I surrounded myself with people (sadly, only 2 people) who encouraged me with positive thinking and optimism. I didn’t want other people to tell me what I was doing was stupid, or that I was a horrible cook, or that I was a bad writer. I had enough issues to deal with.
Sure, I’m still a bad writer, but at least I try to be entertaining 😛
I rite relly, relly good. Gooder then a fith grater.
I actually won a state-wide writing contest in 5th grade. The story was about a stuffed animal I loved, and how its head fell off.
After winning the contest, I think I stopped striving and plateaued.
Where is that story? I have it around here somewhere.
Is there even a moral with this story? What was the whole point of my endless ramblings?
These are the random thoughts going through my head when I cook. I have 1000 voices in my head telling me what I’m doing is wrong, and a couple voices telling me to keep going, you’re doing a great job. Please don’t put me in the loony bin.
I’m going to go bake some cupcakes now.