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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lettuce Wraps

Not only did I actually get my grocery shopping done this week, but I finally made the lettuce wraps I’ve been planning for two weeks. Yea!

These lettuce wraps were TASTY. We loved them and I’m so glad I finally tried my hand at lettuce wraps. I followed my friend Kristen’s recipe over on Dine and Dish, except I made a chicken mix instead of using ground beef. I also used green onions as a topping at the end, rather than cooking them into the meat. You could easily take either approach.

I feel like most restaurants where I’ve had lettuce wraps serve them with iceberg lettuce. Kristen’s recipe called for Boston bibb or butter lettuce, which I liked better…it still had some crunch, but the leaves are more maleable and didn’t break when you wrapped them up.

Our girls loved putting their lettuce wraps together. I let them spoon the chicken mixture onto their lettuce and sprinkle their green onions over top. They thought that was really fun. In terms of actually eating the wraps, well, Anna loved the filling, and Cate liked the lettuce. But I was able to get Cate to eat her chicken filling as well, she just didn’t love it as much as Anna. Bottom line, they’re a little tricky to eat as wraps for kids, but overall I think a mostly kid-friendly meal.

Lettuce Wraps
Modified from Dine and Dish (the Dine and Dish recipe uses ground beef, which Kristen says is delicious”¦so head on over to Kristen’s site for the ground beef version)
Recipe type: Main Dish
  • Boston bibb or butter lettuce leaves (one head), rinsed and patted dry and set aside
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into small cube-sized pieces (if you want to make this vegetarian, substitute the chicken for diced tofu)
  • 1 can water chestnuts, diced into small cube-sized pieces
  • Handfull of shiitake mushrooms, diced into small pieces (I actually didn’t add mushrooms this time around, but it’s an option)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ½ onion, diced into small pieces
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pushed through a press
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add chicken, onions and mushrooms (if using). Saute until chicken is cooked through. I lightly sprinkled some salt evenly over the chicken during this step.
  2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with ground ginger. Add garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the chicken mixture and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts and sesame oil and heat through. (If you want to cook the green onions into the meat, add them with the water chestnuts and cook until the onions are just wilted.)
  3. Serve over lettuce leaves, topped with green onions, soy sauce and chile sauce.

Speaking of chili sauce, I picked up this bottle of Maggi Sweet Chile Sauce at Safeway and it is YUMMY. It’s got some heat and a nice sweet flavor. So glad I stumbled on it at the store!


  1. Aren’t they tasty (and so easy!) Glad your family enjoyed them. Now I’m craving me some lettuce wraps.

  2. 2
    Laura D

    So want these! I tried making lettuce wraps a few weeks ago with Napa cabbage and it was a complete disaster. I’ll have to try the Boston bib next time.

  3. those would be so yummy with just veggies instead of meat for me 🙂

  4. 4

    We actually made these last night ourselves, after seeing the link on your menu. We used ground pork (rather than the ground beef the recipe called for) and threw in some finely diced carrots as well. Yummy!!

    • Jane Maynard

      carrots sounds yum! and ground pork is a great idea! glad you tried the recipe last night, too!

  5. 5
    Jen Ketcher

    Sounds a lot like a lettuce wrap recipe I use–but I use ground turkey in mine. Omits the chopping, makes it quick. I also use fresh ginger–gives it a wonderful flavor.

    • Jane Maynard

      omitting chopping sounds good to me…although, I must admit, those juicy little pieces of chicken sure were yummy! but love that people use ground turkey, pork, beef, etc…love the versatility!

  6. 6

    I’m totally digging chili sauce right now–I don’t think I’ll ever use ketchup again. Thanks for the tip. Looking forward to trying that brand.

  7. 7

    I tried this once and did not like it at all.

    • Jane Maynard

      must just be a matter of taste! my husband actually hasn’t ever been a HUGE fan…I just really think they are so yummy! thankfully nate did like these last night, phew!

  8. Looks great and your suggestion for Tofu made me want to try it out!

  9. What a fabulous idea – just perfect for our seriously hot evenings here.
    🙂 Mandy

  10. 10

    I love lettuce wraps. In chinese, it’s called san-choy-bow. Here’s my version with minced pork and hoisin sauce. It’s so versatile and it’s interesting to see other versions too!

  11. I love lettuce wraps! Thanks for the recipe – going to give them a try this weekend.

  12. We ate these last night too!! Great minds think alike :o)
    Sidenote- I discovered this EXACT Sweet Chili Sauce in Botswana when i was there last year…I LOVE it! And have not been able to find it in any stores in San Deig {Sad} but it made me smile to see it on your blog today, thanks Jane!

  13. Yum! These look delicious! My mom makes great lettuce wraps with ground pork – like Vinna’s. 🙂

    On another note, I tried your buttercream frosting and it was delicious! Used it for “owl cupcakes” for guests, but made a no-egg, no-sugar apple spice cake for the birthday boy. His cake turned out so good, that I only made him a small slice to smash and kept the rest for my husband and myself! You can see pictures of everything here:

    Thanks for your help!!

  14. 14

    Koreans eat beef (Bul Go Gi)in a lettuce wrap with a spoon of rice and a dab of spicy miso/hot pepper paste. So yum! I would need to add rice to this (I’m such carb-avore, but I’m going to give it a try next week!

  15. These look wonderful, and much more simple than the current lettuce wrap recipe I have, that I haven’t tried making yet!

    I’ve awarded you a blogger award at my site if you want to check it out!

  16. 16

    I’ve made lettuce wraps quite a few times, but never really thought to use Bibb lettuce! It seems like such an obvious choice, and I will definitely be keeping it in mind the next time I get a craving!

  17. 17

    Oh man. I stumbled across your blog looking for brownie recipes and found this lettuce wrap post and was so inspired, I ran to the neighborhood asian market for some hoisin sauce (never cooked with it before!) and made them. SO DELICIOUS, THANK YOU!!! Next time I will definitely use butter or bibb lettuce…I wanted to use up my green leaf lettuce and all the ruffles made for a messy meal, but still scrumptious. I used 2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce for the chili sauce and it was the perfect amount of heat for me. So fantastic!! Thanks again for sharing!

  18. I am a huge fan of the lettuce wraps made a restaurant called Miyo’s. I get to enjoy them once a year Feb. 12…my I’m looking forward to dinner out with my husband and some lettuce wraps. My mouth is watering just looking at your pics.

    If you are ever in Columbia, SC…try the lettuce wraps at Miyo’s on Harbison Blvd.

    Thanks for sharing. Yours look yummy.

  19. For those who have trouble getting over meat…(I have my hand up here)…may I suggest some sliced shiitake mushrooms lightly sauteed in olive oil. My daughter Krysta introduced me to them and I found the taste similar to grilled steak…really!

  20. 20
    Tina Ray

    I made these Friday evening for dinner. They were so good and they taste like they do at the restaurant. I found the same Sweet Chile sauce and I like it a lot!

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