Lettuce Wraps
Recipes and Tips

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, GreatPartyRecipes.com

All Lettuce Wraps recipes have three things in common:

  • Lettuce (naturally)
  • Versatility (appetizer, sandwich, or entree)
  • Flavor-texture sensations (like spicy, warm filling on cold, crunchy lettuce)

There is a huge variety of meats, seafood, sauces, and vegetables that can go in the filling or garnish. For now I'll start with the Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe, roll through Beef Teriyaki, and wrap up with How to Roll Lettuce Wraps.

Lettuce Wraps Recipes

Since the lettuce must wrap around a filling, it's important to use a bendable, pliable lettuce leaf. Boston or Bibb are good choices. How many you will needs depends on the size of the leaves you are using. Whatever kind, be sure to wash and dry the lettuce beforehand; you don't want any gritty little surprises. 

Boston Lettuce for Lettuce Wraps, GreatPartyRecipes.com

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry (or water)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice seasoning, optional
3 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
2 pounds raw chicken meat, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or Chinese chili paste, or to taste
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup water
24 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves, give or take

Toppings, optional:
Shredded carrots, sprouts, and/or chopped radishes

Combine the soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, 5-spice, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir together the water and remaining 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and set aside. Heat the oil to medium-high in a wok or large skillet. Toss in the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the green onions, water chestnuts, and chicken (marinade and all) to the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, just a few minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture again and pour it into the pan. Heat and stir until thickened.

Serve in lettuce leaves and, if you like, top with shredded carrots, sprouts, and/or chopped radishes. 

Option: Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Substitute ground turkey for the chicken and prepare as above.

Beef Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

2 pounds rib-eye steak, chopped or slivered, OR lean ground beef
1 cup Teriyaki Sauce:

  1. 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    3/4 cup pineapple juice
    Blend or process all the teriyaki ingredients but the pineapple juice. Remove and stir in the juice.

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
24 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves, give or take

Toppings, optional:
Shredded cabbage or carrots,  or toasted pine nuts

Add the cornstarch to the teriyaki sauce and marinate the prepared steak (or ground beef) in the teriyaki sauce mixture for about 15 minutes. 

Heat the oil to medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. Stir-fry the bell pepper, green onions and pineapple bits for 1 minute. Add the meat mixture and stir-fry until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Remove and serve on the lettuce leaves.

To Serve Lettuce Wraps

It is customary to serve the filling, toppings, and lettuce leaves separately, allowing each guest to prepare their own. But for appetizers or cold "sandwiches" (with salad sandwich filling, an option) you may want to wrap them yourself.

How to Roll Lettuce Wraps

Wrap and roll, like a burrito. After placing the filling mixture on the lettuce leaf, fold in the sides over the center and roll it up. Don't overfill the lettuce leaves, obviously. If you do, or if the leaves are small, fold in just one side and roll it, leaving one end open.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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