Thai chicken lettuce wraps is one of my all time favorite dishes that I have been eating since my college days. I don't know how traditionally Thai it actually is and maybe it isn't but it sure is tasty! What I do know is these healthy lettuce wraps are delicious and perfect for meal prep.
I first tried this dish at a restaurant I worked at in college (the Cheesecake Factory) At this point in my life I honestly had no idea how to cook so after every shift, I would order this dish to take home and it would feed me for at least 2 days.
After college I decided to make these Cheesecake Factory lettuce wraps myself and it really couldn't be easier.
What are chicken lettuce wraps?
Thai chicken lettuce wraps are made up of thinly sliced veggies, chicken, ramen and some really delicious sauces that you pile on top of lettuce cups and eat with your hands. There are a few details in putting this together that I think take this to a whole new level so don't try to economize in these areas or or will not be as amazing!
Ingredients You Will Need To Make These Lettuce Wraps:
- Coconut Milk (don't skip using this)
- Peanut Butter or any Nut Butter
- Soy Sauce
- Tamarind Sauce (optional for the tamarind sauce). If you want to skip the tamarind sauce, you can use the Asian Dipping Sauce from my Miso Glazed Salmon Recipe.
- Red Peppers
- Sesame Seeds
- Peanuts (optional)
Now this may seem like a lot of stuff but you can prepare a double batch of this and have some for 2 meals. I really like having a bunch of this stored in the refrigerator in separate containers for me to assemble delicious and healthy wraps during the week for lunch.
I also like to make extra chicken to have for other meals later in the week because it is so good. I have a post just for this satay chicken because it really is a stand alone item that is so good.
How long does it take to make this recipe:
Like most Asian style dishes, most of the work in making these chicken lettuce wraps are what I call front loaded. This means the bulk of your time is spent prepping with very little cooking vs what most of us are use to which is the opposite.
I mention this because you may feel like there is so much work but really the main part of the work is just at the beginning! From start to finish, this dish should be ready in around 35-40 minutes.
This is a great dish to make vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and adding in some more veggies. It also makes a great dish for your lunches during the week just making sure you keep all of the ingredients in separate containers (veggies in one, the lettuce for making the wraps in another, and so on).
Give this dish a try and you will see how eating healthy can be really delicious!!
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
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- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 cup of shredded carrots same time and buy them already shredded in the store
- 2 containers of Bibb lettuce these come in a plastic shell to protect the delicate leaves of Boston Bibb Lettuce or Butter Lettuce whole (not bagged)
- 1 cucumber thin sliced into circles
- 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar or white vinegar for the cucumbers
- 1 large package of ramen noodles the kind without the flavor packets which can be found in the Asian sections of the grocery store. If you can't find them you can use 2 of the instant ramen packs but discard the flavor packets
- 2 boneless chicken breasts cut into small chicken tender sizes or 1 inch wide strips add your chicken
- 1 can of coconut milk shaken well
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds for garnish over chicken (optional)
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tablespoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped peanuts optional
- 2 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup of low sodium soy
- 1 bunch of green onions diced
- 2 tablespoon of water
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste Optional. You can usually find this in the Asian section of your grocery store.
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 or your grill to medium heat. In a large bowl add your chicken, ¼ cup peanut butter, soy sauce for the chicken and the water and mix well.
- Place your chicken strips on to a large sheet pan and if you are using peanuts, sprinkle those on top of your chicken.
- Cook your chicken until the juices run clear either on your grill or in your oven. About 10 minutes on a medium heat grill and about 10-15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
- While the chicken is cooking, start preparing your vegetables by thinly slicing your red pepper, shredding your carrots and thin slicing your cucumbers.
- With your cucumbers, add them to a medium bowl with your vinegar and water and let them start to pickle.
- While that is happening, in a small to medium deep pot (large enough to cook your ramen), add your can of coconut milk and enough water to come to the middle of the pot and bring to a boil.
- Once that is boiling, add your ramen and cook according to the instructions, usually just a few minutes. Once the ramen is cooked, drain and add to a bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (or vegetable oil) so the noodles do not stick too much. Put aside.
- Now check if your chicken is ready. When done cooking, put it on a plate and cover it with tin foil to rest. While this is happening let's make the sauces.
- For the sauce, grab to large ramekins or 2 small bowls and a whisk or fork.
- In one bowl, fill it with your peanut butter and ¼ cup of your soy sauce. carefully mix it together with your fork or whisk. At first it will seem like an impossible task but trust me it will start to come together. If your peanut sauce looks to thick go ahead and add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of water at a time to thin it to your liking!
- Now in the other bowl, add a ½ cup of the soy sauce. If you are using the tamarind paste, go ahead and add it here and mix it well into your soy sauce. If you are not using tamarind paste, add some red pepper flakes into your sauce. At this point you can add your diced green onions to the tops of both sauces for decoration and flavor. For a more traditional soy dipping sauce, you can check out this Asian Dipping sauce recipe that I use in my Miso Glazed Salmon dish.
- Going back to the chicken, place your cooked chicken on a cutting board and thinly slice it and put aside. If you are using sesame seeds, go ahead and add them on top of your chicken.
- Going back to the cucumbers, drain them and put aside. On a large platter, add one leaf of Boston or Bibb Lettuce on to the platter for each ingredient you have prepared. Now, place your ingredients (veggies, chicken and ramen) on top of the lettuce leaves like in the picture. Now, add your sauces to the platter as well adding spoons to the bowls so people can add the sauces to the wraps.
- For the wraps, carefully take each piece of lettuce off of the heads of lettuce and add to a large plate. This you will serve on the side of your large platter with the chicken and veggies.
- Now sprinkle your entire dish with your cilantro
- Take one whole piece of the bibb lettuce, add a small bit of chicken and small amounts of all the vegetables and place on top of the lettuce. Drizzle on the sauces (a little goes a long way) and carefully try to roll it and then eat. Keep repeating this until you're are full 🙂
- This is messy but amazingly delicious! Enjoy!!
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here