Lettuce wraps, you sneaky things you.
You make me want to wrap vegetables in the leaves of more vegetables and top it all with more vegetables. Just kidding – meant to say PEANUT SAUCE but we’ll get there later.
First things first: the vegetables wrapped in vegetables, for the love of vegetablesss.
I’m not going to lie to you and pretend that it didn’t take kind of a long time to chop up all these green, yellow, red, and orange beauties. My perception might be a little skewed considering my 2-second attention span and low tolerance for cooking related work. Cause, I want you to like my recipes, but I just don’t like cooking that involves work. Yeah? Totally makes sense.
In truth, you will thank yourself over and over again for all the chopping. In fact, TWELVE times over because you’ll get at least 12 deliciously fresh, crispity, crunchity, rock-your-face-off-flavor-y lettuce rolls outta the deal.
Can you just imagine it in your mouth right now? It’s soy sauce salty, lime juice tangy, and bell pepper crunchy all in one amazing veggie boat. IT’S SO GOOD.
Ok, now’s the time when we talk about the peanut sauce. Because up until this point you probably have seen the peanut sauce and mistakenly thought it was ground chicken. I hope it doesn’t bug you that the peanut sauce is a little awkward looking, because… well, it is. But it’s so, so good. And even better the next day. Can I put a request in? Make this sauce ahead of time. I just loved the flavor of the lemongrass, garlic, lime, soy, fish sauce, and sugar after those magical 24 hours in the fridge.
So just to make sure we’re clear on what’s what, here’s a before and after.
So that chunky peanut sauce you see poured all over the top? Yes. It’s peanut sauce and it’s a deal-winner.
I liked mine the best topped with a little sauce, a little drizzle of extra soy sauce because I love to eat too much salt, and then lots and lots of green onions. I didn’t have cilantro but all you fellow devoted cilantro groupies, you know what to do.
Another thing we should discuss. These aren’t actually lettuce wraps! Ha. Trickery. These are cabbage wraps. You can use lettuce if you want watery, tasteless rolls that fall apart after one bite. Just kidding. That was kind of mean. You really can use lettuce and I won’t be mad because that peanut sauce can make anything taste good.
But here’s why I love cabbage:
- It has a taste.
- It’s strong enough to hold a TON of filling.
- It’s better for you.
And speaking of holding a ton of filling, here’s how we get it done round here. Lettuce wrapping style, his and hers.
Perks of being in the same room as your wife when she takes pictures of lettuce wraps:
And perks of making lettuce wraps in the first place:
I’m exhausting myself.
You guys? I hope you make these and adore them as much as I do.
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 small head green cabbage (at least 12 large leaves)
- 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into thin strips
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
- 2 large carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
- green onions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- cilantro for topping (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- 4 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons canola oil
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons water
- scant 1 cup peanuts
- 8 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ tablespoons lemongrass paste (I used fresh lemongrass ground into a paste)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place the chicken breasts in the water (add garlic cloves or salt to season if you want). Simmer for 20 minutes or more until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Drain the water. When they are cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with two forks. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Cut the bottom stem off the cabbage so the leaves come apart easily while still staying intact. Wash the leaves and set aside. Prepare the other vegetables.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree until the mixture resembles chunky peanut butter (just not as thick). Taste and adjust to fit your preferences.
- Assemble the lettuce wraps by filling the cabbage leaves with chicken, carrots, peppers, green onions, and cilantro. Add a few extra peanuts if you want. Top with a spoonful of peanut sauce and an extra drizzle of soy sauce.
If you can, make the dressing a day ahead of time. It needed a few spoonfuls of water to make it saucy again, but I really liked the flavor on the second day!
Nutritional information is for 1 lettuce wrap with peanut sauce.