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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Something absolutely unprecedented happened in our house this week: we had the same thing for dinner, twice.

On purpose.

And they were not leftovers.

This recipe is THAT GOOD.

These lettuce wraps are also ridiculously simple. For me, many Asian-inspired recipes require a few days advance notice to make sure that I have the sometimes-obscure ingredients on hand, however we happened to have all necessary ingredients in house, less the lettuce (more on that in a minute). If you haven’t prepared any Asian-inspired dishes lately, check to see that you have rice wine vinegar and sesame oil on hand. Both the dipping sauce and chicken can be prepared ahead of time, and once the chopping, shredding & preparation of vegetables is complete, the final product comes together within 10 minutes!

Note: If you are able to find it, a cute little head of Boston butter lettuce produces perfectly sized “cups.”

These lettuce wraps would make a wonderfully colorful addition to the appetizers at your next summer get together, or serve with snap peas sauteed in sesame oil and sea salt for a light, refreshing lunch or dinner.


2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 tbsp sesame oil, divided

2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded into bite-sized pieces

8-oz canned water chestnuts, chopped

8-oz mushrooms, washed and chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, minced

6-10 leaves Boston butter lettuce (cabbage or other lettuce if you aren’t able to find this), leaves sepeated and rinsed.

1 large carrot, finely shredded

1-2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation: Place shredded chicken in medium-sized bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons each sesame oil and low-sodium soy sauce. Add 3 cloves minced garlic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until ready to prepare.

Combine first three ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp each sesame oil and olive oil in large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions and water chestnuts. Saute for 4 minutes, then add chicken and reserved soy sauce mixture. Cook about four minutes longer before transferring to serving dish.

Serve 2-3 tablespoons chicken mixture on 1 prepared lettuce leave. Top with carrots, sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon of dipping sauce (recipe below). Enjoy!!

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, whisking until clear. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice, and sesame oil. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use. Prior to serving, combine the hot water, Dijon, and garlic in small bowl, then add to chilled mixture. Serve as topping to lettuce wraps.

Adapted from Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

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