Thai Lettuce Wraps with Chicken Recipe

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Scrumptious Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Serving Sauce!. D.Schmidt for About.com
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 24 mins,
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Yield: serves 2 to 4 as a main entree
Ratings

These chicken lettuce wraps are delightfully fresh and the taste is tantalizingly Thai! You will love the combination of warm filling with the crisp, cool lettuce (cabbage, large spinach leaves, or fresh roll wrappers are all great alternatives). When it comes to making a good wrap, the filling is everything, and this Thai version is especially good. It's made with lightly marinated chicken which is stir-fried and then accented with both mint and basil for a perfect marriage of flavors that will delight your palate. The various crisp and crunchy textures make for a fun, satisfying meal. and it works perfectly as a lively and impressive party food or appetizer.

Tips for Separating Lettuce Leaves

To make separating easier and with less ripping, it helps to fill your sink one-third to halfway with cold water and plunge the lettuce head into it. Then gently separate leaves under water. Or simply rinse the head well with cold water, including the hole where the core was, and then separate.

What You'll Need

  • 1 head iceberg or any lettuce with large leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 pound chicken breast or thigh, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 to 5 mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted cashews
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir-frying
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or cooking sherry
  • 1 tablespoon oyster flavored sauce
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

How to Make It

  1. Cut the core out of the head of lettuce and separate into leaves (see tips below). Pile on a plate and reserve in refrigerator.
  2. Combine all stir-fry sauce ingredients (sherry, oyster sauce, 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, vinegar) together in a cup and set aside.
  3. In a separate cup, combine all serving sauce ingredients (hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, lime juice, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper). Double ingredients if serving more than 2 people. Place in a small bowl for serving.
  1. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of the stir-fry sauce over prepared chicken. Stir well and set aside to briefly marinate.
  2. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in oil, then add half the green onions (reserve rest for later), and garlic. Stir-fry one minute, then add the chicken. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, adding more stir-fry sauce if pan becomes dry.
  3. Add mushroom, bell pepper, cashews, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry 2 to 3 more minutes, or until everything is nicely cooked. Reduce heat to low and fold in the bean sprouts. Taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not flavorful enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice.
  4. Transfer to a bowl for serving using a slotted spoon (you want the filling on the dry side). Chop up the mint and basil and add to the bowl. Also, add the reserved green onion, drizzle over the lime juice and gently stir all together.  Taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not flavorful enough, or more sugar if too sour.​
  5. To serve, place the bowl of filling on the table together with the prepared lettuce leaves and side sauce, letting each person wrap their own. To assemble: spoon some of the hot filling into a lettuce leaf and drizzle over some of the serving sauce.