These easy Asian-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps are SO flavorful, and perfect as a simple dinner recipe, or an appetizer for a party!
Skip the takeout and make your Asian-style dishes at home! Not only are they super easy to make, they taste so much better. We love takeout/fake-outs like my Garlic Pork Stir Fry and Ginger Glazed Chicken Ramen. This is one of my Asian-Inspired recipes you’ll definitely want in your collection!
LETTUCE WRAPS RECIPE
If you’re into big, bold flavors, all wrapped up in a super convenient 30 minute recipe, then look no further. These chicken lettuce wraps are the ultimate easy weeknight dinner!
Family friendly, fun to eat, and can even be made ahead of time.
If you’ve ever been to a restaurant and ordered the lettuce wraps off the menu (PF Changs and Cheesecake Factory are two major ones), these taste similar to those. But homemade is so much better… trust me!
You can control the spice and seasoning level, and they’ll be ready in less time than it takes for delivery to bring your order.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
- Cook onion and chicken. Just cook the onion until soft and translucent, then add the chicken and cook until mostly cooked through.
- Mix sauce. Combine garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, tomato paste, rice vinegar, sriracha, hoisin and chili paste.
- Add the sauce. Add the sauce to skillet with chicken and onion and let it cook a minute or two.
- Simmer sauce. Make a slurry with the chicken broth and cornstarch (just whisk them together in a bowl until smooth), and stir into the sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
- Add peanuts. Stir in peanuts and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve. Add some of the chicken mixture to lettuce cups and top with green onions and sesame seeds.
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
- GARLIC PASTE – I like to pick up a tube of garlic paste and ginger paste (made by Gourmet Garden) for this recipe (and so many others), but you can substitute that with an equal amount of fresh minced garlic and ginger.
- SAMBAL OELEK – a spicy Asian chile sauce that’s traditionally made from hot red chile peppers, salt and sometimes vinegar. Some versions have garlic in it as well. You can find it in the International Foods section of grocery stores.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- GROUND CHICKEN – a LOT of chicken lettuce wraps are made using ground chicken, and you can certainly use it for this recipe if you like.
- OTHER PROTEIN – the flavors in this sauce go really well with pork or tofu if you’d rather substitute.
- MILD – if you’re sensitive to heat, you can reduce the amount of sriracha and/or chili paste, to whatever level makes you comfortable.
- OVER RICE – this garlic and ginger chicken is also great over some cooked jasmine or long grain white rice.
MAKING LETTUCE WRAPS AHEAD OF TIME
If you’re making this recipe as an appetizer, the odds are you’ll want to have it made ahead of time so you can spend time with your guests. Good news, you can absolutely whip this recipe up a day ahead of time!
Make the filling completely, then cool completely, cover and refrigerate. When reheating, heat in a skillet over MED LOW heat with a splash of chicken stock to bring the sauciness back.
Leftovers should be refrigerated separately, in airtight containers, and consumed within 3-4 days.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
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- Skillet – of course you can use any skillet you like, but this is the one I use a lot in my kitchen.
- Chili Paste – this is the brand I use and love.
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- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion diced
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast sliced into small pieces, about 1/2"
- 1 Tbsp garlic paste or finely minced garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste or finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sriracha sauce use more or less, according to your tastes
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp sambal oelek red chili paste use more or less, according to your tastes
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup peanuts roughly chopped
- 8-10 pieces Boston bibb lettuce
- sesame seeds
- chopped green onions
COOK ONION AND CHICKEN
- Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over MED heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the chicken breast pieces and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Mix the garlic and ginger paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, tomato paste, rice vinegar, sriracha, hoisin sauce and chili paste together in a small mixing bowl.
- In another small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch until smooth.
- Once the chicken has cooked, pour the sauce over the chicken and stir. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, then add the chicken broth/cornstarch mixture and stir.
- Reduce the heat to MED LOW and let the sauce simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until thickened to your liking.
ADD PEANUTS AND COOL
- Stir in the peanuts, then remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Keep in mind the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
ADD TO LETTUCE AND SERVE
- Lay the lettuce on a plate, add some filing to the middle, then garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions and serve.
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