Recipe: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is a family favorite recipe. I first had lettuce wraps at some fast-casual eatery and thought they were decent but not really worth the price. I took a stab at making them at home, and over the years, this recipe, the combination of about four different ones, resulted. You can swap out the white meat for dark meat, but just be a little more sensitive about cooking time, as it tends to dry out when it's cooked in such small pieces.

The recipe, after the jump.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 3 handfuls (about three cups) fresh shiitakes (rehydrated work fine as well)
  • 6 chicken thighs, de-boned and cut up into thumbnail-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 inch ginger root, halved
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice or zest of 1/4 orange
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 small tin, 6 to 8 ounces, sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (in all markets in the Asian isle)
  • Chili oil
  • 1 head butter or Boston lettuce. Despite popular belief, iceberg really doesn't work that great
  • Clean and de-stem shiitakes and slice into quarters. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to your wok on high heat. Add chicken, the garlic and ginger, and stir fry for about 4 minutes (until the pink is mostly gone). Drain chicken, return to wok, add mushrooms, and stir fry for 4 more minutes. Add bell pepper bits, chopped water chestnuts, and green onions; cook for another two minutes. Add sesame oil, hoisin sauce and a dash of chili oil and toss to coat the mixture evenly. Serve hot buffet style - letting everyone spoon servings into lettuce leaves.

    Variation - You can add additional veggies, like diced baby corn, bok choy, or additional peppers, but the veggies will reduce and create more liquid at the bottom of the pan. If this occurs, drain before you add your sauce, or thicken slightly with cornstarch.

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