Toss the takeout menus in favor of a 5-star recipe for 30-Minute Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
Something magical happens when soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and lime juice all come together into a caramel-like sticky, sweet and savory sauce. Just add thinly ground chicken to soak up all that flavor, and a short sauté in a hot pan later and you’ll be tossing those takeout menus for good. Welcome to the takeout-fakeout party, Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps!
I’m one of those “if lettuce wraps are on the menu, I’m ordering them” kinda restaurant patrons. From the fancy to the budget-friendly, I’ve lettuce-wrapped my way across the spectrum.
While ground chicken is a popular filling, this recipe would work just as well with ground turkey (which is often easier to find) or ground pork.
Keep it simple with just a few additional wrap fillings, from chilled cucumber slices or julienned carrots to shredded purple cabbage and toasted sesame seeds. Fill ’em, wrap ’em, eat ’em. And then repeat.
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For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
For the lettuce wraps:
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons minced ginger
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
- 1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1/3 cup toasted peanuts or cashews, chopped
- Lettuce leaves and chopped veggies, for serving
Make the sauce:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and crushed red chili flakes (optional). Set the sauce aside.
Make the lettuce wraps:
- In a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the shallots and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
- Add the ground chicken and using a spatula, break it apart into pieces. Continue cooking until it is cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the water chestnuts then stir in the sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat then stir in the cilantro and scallions and taste and season it with salt and pepper.
- Divide the chicken mixture among the lettuce cups then garnish with chopped nuts and serve.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.