Asian Lettuce Wraps

Lots of people rave about lettuce wraps.  I know they are a favorite appetizer at a popular chain restaurant, but surprisingly I had never tried them till now.  I have been wanting to try them for quite a while but there are hundreds of versions out there and they are all so different!  Some seem not in the least authentic, some call for only ingredients I have no hope of finding here in my town – I was hoping for something in between.  Finally I turned to Jaden at Steamy Kitchen because I knew she would have a great recipe that didn’t require tons of hard to find items.

These were a really nice light and healthy dinner.  I loved the contrast of the warm filling with the cool, crisp lettuce.  I also really liked the play between the spicy-sweet flavors.  They weren’t super spicy, but just enough to give the mild, slow burn I love.  Part of the sweetness comes from the diced apple – it may seem like a weird addition but don’t skip it.  Ben and I both agreed that it made the dish.  Butter lettuce is recommended for lettuce wraps but I had no luck finding it in the grocery.  Maybe next time at the farmers’ market!

Asian Lettuce Wraps
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For the sauce:
1½ tsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce

For the filling:
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 green onions, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
2 cups mixed vegetables (I used frozen peas and carrots, diced red pepper and onion)
½ green apple, finely chopped

To assemble:
Butter lettuce leaves, washed and separated
Shredded carrots for topping (optional)

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and mix to blend.

To make the filling, heat a skillet on high heat with cooking oil.  Once the pan is hot, add the garlic, ginger and green onions to the pan, and stir fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant.  Add the ground turkey or chicken, breaking into small pieces, and cook until almost cooked through.  Add the vegetables to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the sauce and cook for about 1 minute until thickened slightly.  Add the apples to the pan and toss to coat.  Immediately remove the pan from the heat.

Serve the filling in lettuce “cups” and top with shredded carrots, if desired.

Source: slightly adapted from Steamy Kitchen

24 Responses

  1. beautiful! thanks for the shoutout!

  2. I am SO having this for dinner one day this week. My fiance may SAY he’s not gonna eat it, but I know once he sees it, he’s gonna want some.

  3. it looks so springly!

  4. I was just reading about a copy cat PF Chang’s recipe in Cooking Light or Food Network mag- can’t remember I read so many. Anyway, I love these and they are so pretty!

  5. They are so pretty!! I love lettuce wraps. These look delicious!

  6. Yum.. it’s lunch time & I’m hungry. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  7. It’s like you read my mind! My mom and I just tried lettuce wraps this week and LOVED them. We decided we needed to find a recipe to make some of our own. Then today voila’ – you are here to the rescue. I’m emailing this to her right now!

  8. YUM! I’m definitely making these soon! Just wondering if your son ate these? I’m wondering if my 5 year old would like them. Or maybe too spicy for little taste buds?

  9. Those look amazing, Annie. So colorful. The photography is spectacular. 🙂

  10. very tasty lettuce wrap….I would love to try these with my girls…
    thanks for sharing your success, and such great photos!!

  11. I don’t really like lettuce. I’m thinking maybe using tortillas or maybe Asian style pancakes?

  12. this sound good and very colourful.

  13. The photos are self explanatory, so good!
    I’m going to try this wrap even if I allready know I’ll be in trouble finding the hoisin sause and Sriracha hot sauce, here. Anyway I never heard about Sricha sauce, even when I was living in the usa.

  14. I DID make these & my fiance LOVED them. I put the sauce in the meat mixture while it was cooking & made some more for dipping. VERY good.

  15. I haven’t tried Jaden’s version yet, but the sriracha sauce made me want to try it soon.

  16. These looked so yummy that I made them last night! My husband’s first comment after taking a bite was “Is there any more sauce?” Next time I make these, I’m going make extra sauce for dipping. Otherwise, great recipe!

  17. This looks delicious Annie and I can’t wait to try it!!

    Question though, do you think the Sriracha hot sauce could be substituted with something else? We like hot, I just don’t think I’d use the sauce enough again to justify buying the bottle.


    • Kelly,
      Yeah, I think regular hot sauce would probably be fine. But, I bought the sriracha hot sauce just for this and loved it so much, I’m already finding lots of other things to do with it. You know how that goes!

  18. I just love your blog. My husband just got back from a trip to Chicago where he had lettuce wraps and just raved about them! Can’t wait to try your recipe!! Thanks!!

  19. This reminds me of a biggest loser recipe…Thai turkey lettuce wraps…they are a favorite around our house!!

  20. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and have even tried a recipe or 2! Can you suggest sides to go with this dish? I am thinking some type of rice dish….not sure. I am hoping to try this later this week 🙂

    • For us, this was plenty of meal all on its own since it has protein and veggies. I think a rice dish would be fine, but I don’t have a specific one in mind. I’d probably just do white rice, or maybe pineapple rice.

  21. Thank you for your suggestion – I made this dish last Thursday, coupled with your pineapple rice. It was a hit! I will definitely be making this one again 🙂

  22. I did make it…last night. My husband won’t use a puffy poof in the shower and doesn’t eat vegtables. Especially ones with “Lettuce wraps”. I used a little extra hot sauce. HE LOVED IT. And when he says you can make it again…he means it. I loved it to. Easy to make. A little prep time but worth it. Very flavorful.

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