Summer is upon us—and while bikinis and beaches are great, we’re most excited because warm weather means it’s time to start eating with our hands again.
But summery suppers don’t have include only hot dogs and hamburgers. The executive chef of Catch restaurant in New York City, John Beatty, shares his recipe for teriyaki chicken lettuce cups exclusively in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. And, yes, the Asian-inspired dish is just as delicious as it is fun to eat.
“This light, sweet, and earthy dish is a home run,” says Beatty. “It hits all the marks as it looks great and the taste is addicting.”
If you’ve got a vegetarian in the family, don’t sweat it. The chef suggests turning this into a meatless meal by removing the chicken breast and replacing it with a hearty mushroom, like Portobello or shiitake.
“Take the same approach by cutting your mushrooms uniformly and follow same cooking technique,” he says.
Catch NYC’s Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Cups
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 tbsp. canola oil, divided
¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
1½ cups chopped chicken breast
¼ cup diced zucchini
2 tbsp. diced red onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic cloves
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 tbsp. chopped scallions
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium high. Add chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet.
3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium high; add zucchini, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet; add teriyaki sauce, pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and stir to combine.
4. Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water until smooth. Add to chicken mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 minute.
5. Cut and remove core from bottom of lettuce and discard. Separate 4 large leaves, and top with chicken mixture, then sprinkle with sweet potatoes and scallions.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Tip: “Freeze the raw chicken slightly before chopping,” suggests Beatty. It’s easier to cut small, even-size pieces when the meat is a little firm.
—Ana Calderone, @anacalderone