Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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.

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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.

lettuce-wraps-12

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.

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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:

  1. It has a taste.
  2. It’s strong enough to hold a TON of filling.
  3. It’s better for you.

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

And speaking of holding a ton of filling, here’s how we get it done round here. Lettuce wrapping style, his and hers.

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Perks of being in the same room as your wife when she takes pictures of lettuce wraps:

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

And perks of making lettuce wraps in the first place:

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I’m exhausting myself.

You guys? I hope you make these and adore them as much as I do.

Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

ONE LAST THING. For all my blended stuff, I always have the best results with my Blendtec Designer Series Blender. If you’re in the market for a new grown up blender, this has your name all over it.

4.5 from 6 reviews
Light Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Author: 
Serves: makes 12 wraps
 
Ingredients
For the salad
  • 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)
For the peanut sauce
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree or blend until the mixture resembles chunky peanut butter (just not as thick). Taste and adjust to fit your preferences.
  4. 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.
Notes
For a vegetarian option, use quinoa instead of chicken. You can definitely use regular lettuce but I like the flavor and the texture of the green cabbage leaves better.

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.

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Comments

  1. Oi! These look SO delicious! First it was that Chopped Thai Chicken Salad that had me off my rocker, and now I have another recipe to veganize. It should be easy: use veggie “chicken” and scrap the fish sauce and honey. WAHOO! This is going to be my dinner (or lunch or breakfast) later this week….

  2. Holy yum!!! I love lettuce wraps but like you, am not crazing about all the work involved with all the chopping involved. But just a taste of these wraps and it looks like all that chopping work would be worth it! Thank you! Pinned!

  3. Hey there, I’m a reader from Germany and I think I never commented here before. I just wanted to tell you, that I think you have one of the funniest food blogs out there. And that’s a good thing :)! And I love your recipes as well. Win Win.

  4. Geez, I love these! They are light, so tasty and they have tons a veggies and peanut sauce!!! YES!! So my kind of warm weather meal!

  5. Geez, you really must have it out for yourself! You keep making these delicious but awkward looking dishes. I wouldn’t dare attempt photographing something like this, but you did a great job!

  6. Oh yum. I am obsessed with lettuce wraps and recently – while in Puerto Rico – I was served something in cabbage wraps and I thought it was an amazing idea! I had totally forgotten about it until I read your post just now. Healthy, sturdy and easy to wrap – the perfect lettuce substitute :) Can’t wait to try these “lightened-up” wraps!

  7. I think I could eat plates and plates of this!

  8. I’m loving the before/after shots with the peanut butter sauce all thick and wonderful. These look delicious! I can see them being an instant household favorite! :)

  9. These look incredible! I went through a lettuce wrap-obsessed phase last spring and I feel it coming on again. I love these!

  10. Oh these definitely need to happen.

  11. How can you not like these

  12. That peanut sauce looks amazing! I love all of your pictures

  13. Peanut sauce is the BEST! Love the idea of using cabbage leaves instead of lettuce, makes so much sense. I will definitely be making these.

  14. Martha says:

    This looks so good. I am a cabbage freak! Will definitely be making this. I don’t mind all the chopping, as long as I have some good tunes playing. I’m thinking something chop-worthy, like Beethoven’s 5th symphony. ;) But there’s another thing…. No kidding? They have Arnold Palmers in Cebu? Whoa! That is awesome!

  15. Full confession: I love lettuce wraps, but I cannot for the life of me fold and eat them correctly. Whenever I try, I get the better part of the filling all over the plate or, worse yet, on my shirt. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions on the most efficient lettuce wrap assembly and folding/eating?

    • Use cabbage! :) It doesn’t break and it’s crunchy but still bendable. It worked like a charm, just rolled em up like a little taco. :)

  16. I am a huge FOOL for lettuce wraps Lindsay!!!!! Ahhhh. Love them so much but hardly ever make them at home. And that chunky peanut butter sauce – I would eat it on everything.

  17. Oh I love the idea of using cabbage instead of lettuce. Extra crunch never goes amiss. And the peanut sauce as well….will be definitely giving these a go.

  18. These are amazing – I love all the colors from the peppers and peanut sauce? I never say no to that!

  19. I’ve NEVER thought to use cabbage instead of lettuce but what a genius idea. I don’t like lettuce either and when I buy it for this sort of thing it’s such a waste cause I don’t use the rest of it. Genius Lindsay. Genius!

  20. Bravo for making lettuce wraps look gorgeous in photos! Oh my goodness — they have fallen into the crazy-delicious-but-I-can-never-seem-to-make-them-look-appetizing category on my blog. But these look so fresh and delicious! :)

    Cheers to cabbage, all of those delicious veggies, and anything covered in peanut sauce!!

  21. I love lettuce wraps! It’s the only time I’ll eat veggies. And yes to all that chunk peanut sauce!

  22. ok, i’m totally looking to make this recipe!

    i LOVE peanut sauceee!!

  23. Oh the beauties that these chicken lettuce wraps are. I have only had lettuce wraps a hand full of times but love them. I need to try making them more often.

  24. I love lettuce wraps and these look absolutely perfect! Such pretty colors :)

  25. I love peanut sauce! I like to mix in some sriracha and I pour it over everything ;). It’s like my ketchup. Have you ever tried it with napa cabbage? Soo good. I like to steam it beforehand so it’s not too crunchy and refrigerate it. It’s so refreshing and satisfying!

  26. Made these tonight, and they were soooo good. The peanut sauce is fantastic. But please share how you separate your cabbage leaves without ripping them to pieces??

    • Shoot, I should have taken a picture of that. On cabbage, there should be one spot where there’s a stem (or what’s left of the stem) holding all the leaves together. I just cut that off right at the base and then pulled the leaves apart from there. I had to cut the stem base a few more times as some of the inner leaves were still connected. Hopefully that helps! :)

  27. Daniella says:

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious!!! I used a bit of extra water and sesame oil instead of fish oil and lettuce instead of cabbage. Although messy, they were so yummy. I used 3 large cloves of garlic and found that to be plenty (if not a bit too much). Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Daniella says:

    And I used quinoa instead of chicken, which was a genious suggestion!! Can’t wait to try your other recipes! :)

  29. I made these with a few slight variations and they were terrific! I made the sauce, put it in another bowl, then processed the chicken in my food processor to make it like ground chicken. Then I sauteed onions, added the ground chicken and cooked it. Then I added about 1/2 c. – 3/4 c. of the sauce to the chicken along with some water. I cooked it together and added more sauce and water until it was the consistency and flavor I wanted.

    I also used slightly less lemongrass (1 T.) and added about 1-2 T. sirracha.

    Very tasty! Great recipe!

  30. I finally got around to making these a few weeks ago and they were delicious. The perfect summer recipe!

    http://lifeinthewindycityandbeyond.tumblr.com/post/54265181192/light-thai-chicken-lettuce-wraps

  31. Found your site on Pinterest and made these tonight. That peanut sauce is unreal. We loved it!

  32. Ok. I never write comments or reviews but this one is a must! I luckily had all the ingredients in my pantry except for the lemon grass. However, the peanut sauce still taste just like the real stuff. My boyfriend was very skeptical about the whole idea and started making his own dinner. When i was finished with all the chopping and when the chicken was cool enough I put everything in a mixing ball except the sauce and put it into the lettuce (didn’t have cabbage) and drizzled the sauce on top. He couldn’t resist not giving it a try and to my expectations he loved it. Ate 4 wraps!!! They were very filling and light at the same time. I must say that it only took about a half hour very simple to make and would make it often.

  33. Hi,
    Can u plz help me would like 2 know whether to use the raw peanuts or the roasted 1 for wraps.

  34. I made these and they are quite fantastic. And since it’s just me, it lasts a long time, so makes the chopping no hassle at all if I get like a week or more off of having to worry about lunch!!
    But one thing, could someone tell me the nutritional facts? If it’s posted below the recipe, it is not showing up for me and I’ve revisited a few times to see if it’s there, if it was just a glitch or something. Thanks for anyone’s help!

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