For the balls:
1/ 1/2 pound ground chicken
2/ 1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped
3/ 1/3 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
4/ 1 egg
5/ 1/4-teaspoon red pepper flakes
6/ 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
7/ 1 teaspoon or less of salt
8/ 6 whole waterchestnuts, roughly chopped
9/ 2 Tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
10/ 1/2 cup unhulled white sesame seeds
11/ Oil for sautéing
12/ 1 whole Boston lettuce, washed, leaves separated
For the Sauce:
1/ 1 Tablespoon smooth 100% peanut butter
2/ 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce (Koon Chun brand)
3/ 2 Tablespoons Water
4/ dash or more of Tabasco, to taste
5/ a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice
To make the balls: Put the first seven ingredients into a food processor and pulse until chopped and combined.
Take out and put into a non-reactive bowl. Fold in the chopped water chestnuts and chopped peanuts. Refrigerate one hour or up to overnight.
Put the sesame seed into a flat-bottomed bowl or pie plate. Wet your hands and, with the help of a teaspoon, roll the chicken mixture into spheres about the size of golf balls. Then roll them in the sesame seeds. (Optional: Place them on a parchment lined baking tray and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to cook.)
Heat the oil over a medium flame until hot. Fry the chicken balls about 6 at a time in hot oil, turning frequently until well-browned all around. Add more oil as necessary. Take out and drain on paper towels while you cook the rest.
To make the Sauce: In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together adding enough water to get the consistency you want. Don't make it runny - a little bit thick is good. Double the recipe for additional sauce.
Assembly: Place a chicken ball inside a lettuce leaf and coat generously with the sauce. Roll up loosely. Or, put out the balls, the sauce, and the lettuce and let your guests make their own! Serve warm or room temperature.