Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Summer is in full swing and on a hot, humid evening we like to eat a little lighter. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, which are a popular appetizer served in many restaurants, are easy to make and serve at home. The wraps are great served as an appetizer but they also make a delicious meal. The hot, sour, salty and sweet flavors of herbs, chilies, fish sauce and lime, which are those typically found in Thai cooking, are mixed with sautéed ground chicken. Served alongside a platter of lettuce leaves and limes, a dipping sauce, some sticky rice and perhaps a thinly sliced Thai cucumber salad, you have a great tasting summer meal.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

As with other ethnic dishes, there are as many variations of the wraps as there is the spelling of its name.  If you visit a Thai, Laotian or Vietnamese restaurant, you might see it listed on a menu as Larb, Larb Gai, Laab Gai or even Laph Gai among other names. I just refer to them as Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 head of Boston lettuce (butter, bibb or other soft lettuce may be used), separated
  • 1/2 – 3/4 lb. coarsely ground chicken (You can also use turkey, beef or pork that you coarsely chop yourself in a food processor)
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp. sweet chili sauce or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil

Rinse lettuce, separate into individual leaves, set aside to dry.

Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté, stirring often to break up the meat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook an additional minute. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce and lime juice. Cook until the meat is crumbled and cooked through. Stir in the chopped cilantro and sesame oil at the end of the cooking time.

To serve, arrange the lettuce leaves around the edge of a platter then spoon the chicken mixture in center. To eat, spoon a small amount of chicken onto a lettuce leaf,  drizzle with a little dipping sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, or Thai sweet chili sauce, add a squeeze of fresh lime, roll and enjoy.

Dipping Sauce

Mix 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. fish sauce, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, and 1 tsp. sesame oil, and crushed red chili flakes, ground chili or shiracha to taste.

Another Dipping Sauce that you might enjoy:

Thai Dipping Sauce

Mix 3 Tbsp. fish sauce, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 tsp. each of brown sugar and soy sauce, 1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes, and 1 green onion thinly sliced.


Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps With Dipping Sauce

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps With Dipping Sauce

If you would like a little crunch to the wraps, you can add chopped water chestnuts, red bell peppers, julienned carrots or chopped peanuts to the dish. As I mentioned, there are endless variations of lettuce wraps to suit your taste. I hope you will try making the Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps as an appetizer or part of a light and very flavorful summer meal.



About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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172 Responses to Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  1. I enjoy lettuce wraps and Thai food. Thanks for the two dipping sauces… I took a Thai Favorites class a few weeks ago from Sur la table and I am anxious to try some new recipes 🙂

  2. Eva Taylor says:

    These are definitely one of my summer staples, perfect for a hot evening as you mentioned. I just love the fresh, clean flavours.

  3. Bonnie says:

    Thai is a favorite for me. It satisfies all of the taste buds. This sounds perfect for the hot days of summer–if they ever get here. We are still having very cool weather. Very nice!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Bonnie, This has indeed been a strange summer. I agree with you about Thai food having such a great balance of flavors. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Excellent – I think I could eat a lot of those 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mad Dog, I’m glad you like the lettuce wraps, thank you. Yes, you can eat lots of these tasty treats without feeling guilty. 😀

  5. I like that there is no carb worries in this, it looks absolutely fantastic 😀
    Light and healthy, it is alternate to the usual salads and looks even better!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Karen says:

      Hi Uru, Yes…these lettuce wraps are not only great tasting but are good if you are trying to watch your carb intake. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  6. I always know where I can get really good Asian recipes – love reading your blog.

  7. Love chicken wraps and love that little fishy bowl. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lea Ann, Lettuce wraps do seem to be a popular dish…I’m glad you like them too. The little fish sauce bowl is a fun addition to our table.

  8. lvaletutto says:

    These look so delicious and flavorful! I love the Thai version of ground beef, pork or chicken salads and wrapped in a large lettuce leaf with a spicy dipping sauce has the making of a perfect summer salad. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration.

  9. I make these every month or so in the summer and we always eat too much. Yours look beautiful!

  10. savourytable says:

    I love lettuce wraps, in fact this is the only thing I ever order at PF Chang’s. Now that I am trying to eat lower carb, this is a perfect recipe for me.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, I wish we had a PF Chang’s in New Hampshire. Since we don’t, I had to create my own lettuce wraps. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  11. David says:

    What a light and perfect summer meal. We have made something similar with pork called Nam Sod. I definitely want to try these chicken wraps!

  12. I love lettuce wraps and the combo of spices sounds yummy. I always love to find other ways to spice a dish so looking forward to making these and maybe even wrapping them in rice paper too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna, It sounds like we both enjoy the flavor combinations of Asian food. I agree with you, I think this chicken mixture would be great served as a fresh spring roll (wrapped in rice paper).

  13. Sue says:

    Hi Karen—looks like another fantastic recipe. I have begun using lettuce wraps for so many things and I love the calorie savings over using some bread or tortillas.
    We’re having a very soggy day here in Michigan and the high thus far is only in the low 50’s. Strange weather for July. I can imagine the tomatoes need little sweaters.
    How is the sale going? You didn’t sell the little cabinet yet, did you?????
    Have a wonderful week!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sue, for your nice compliment. Using lettuce certainly helps when you are watching carbs. We are having the same weather in New Hampshire…lots of rain. 😦 The little cabinet hasn’t sold yet.

      • Sue says:

        Dearest hubby–in a vain attempt to shut me up about that cupboard said that you two sound like great foodies and should visit Traverse City, MI (one of the GREAT food spots) and pack that cupboard into the car for a “drive”……….ha ha. Ha?
        You let me know when you are having that barn sale. If we are off our restrictive diets by then, we WILL take a road trip out that way……………..

      • Karen says:

        You are too funny! I’ve giving tomato plants a ride to new homes so a cupboard isn’t too far fetched. 😀

  14. These are fantastic. I love lettuce wraps. I think I’ll make these for dinner tonight Karen. Thank you for the idea. 🙂

  15. Lettuce Wraps is one of my favorite dishes to bring or serve at a party. Everyone loves them. I’ll have to try your sauce. Mine doesn’t have fish sauce in it and I bet it tastes great!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandra, Lettuce wraps seem to be a very popular. Fish sauce isn’t pleasant smelling but it certainly does add lots of flavor. I hope you will enjoy the sauce. 🙂

  16. kitchenriffs says:

    This is such a nice summer recipe! We rarely do wraps of any kind, and I love the idea of lettuce wraps — I should really make these. Lovely flavors! And a fun dish — thanks.

  17. ela hester says:

    I love the idea of wrapping… and finger food. This one is just perfect, Karen!

    ela h.

  18. Jane says:

    This looks like a great appetizer to serve to a group where everyone can get in on the action…interactive of sorts!! Thanks so much, I look forward to trying it!!

    Jane xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane, I think the lettuce wraps would be perfect for when you have all your family at the lake. You could add bowls of the extra toppings I suggested along with chopped mint, cilantro, etc. and everyone could make their own.

  19. cheri says:

    This looks really delicious Karen, love finger foods like this in the summer time. Also your dipping sauce sounds amazing!

  20. Hot and humid doesn’t even begin to describe what we’re having – do you guys have any air up your way that you could push south for me? These look just right for a great summer meal and I especially like that second dipping sauce.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, We certainly have been having an unusual summer, hot one day, cool the next. I’m glad you like the wraps and sauce recipe, thank you.

  21. Arlene Poma says:

    Karen, you are soooooo stellar! Thank you for a wonderful, healthy recipe. Being Filipino-American, I grew up with white rice and soy sauce at just about every meal. Which, of course, you wear in the long run. Now, I very seldom eat white rice unless I dine out with friends and family. I love the idea of having Asian cuisine without the starch. Thank you from the bottom of my California severe drought heart! Will most likely try your fantastic recipe tonight!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your lovely compliment, Arlene. I’m glad you like the recipe and hope you will enjoy the wraps if you get a chance to make them. 🙂

  22. Hi Karen,
    I just happent to take out ground chicken for dinner tonight. I was thinking chicken tacos but now that I see these wraps, I may be switching gears. The humidity is close to unbearable around here and these would be a nice refreshing meal in a pinch! Thanks for sharing, Karen…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Louise, This has been an unusual summer…hot, hazy and humid one day then rainy and cool the next. The chicken wraps do make for a nice meal for a summer evening. I appreciate your nice compliment and hope you get a chance to try them.

  23. A_Boleyn says:

    Soft and fresh greens wrapped around a tasty chicken filling is a nice change from flour tortilla or other similar wrappings. The dipping sauces both sound like a great finish.

  24. MamaD1xx4xy says:

    We make all kinds of lettuce wraps in the spring when our lettuces and cabbages come up in the garden. The kids absolutely love them, such an entertaining way for them to create their own meal at the table. These look absolutely delicious.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Gretchen, I’m glad you like the recipe for the lettuce wraps. I can see how your boys would enjoy wraps, finger food is always fun to make and eat. 🙂

  25. Ngan R. says:

    I love simple appetizers like these – they are so hearty and flavorful without the fuss. beautiful colors on your plate, Karen!

  26. These look good and sound good to eat in warm weather. I hope the moving preparations are going well.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks B, I’m glad you like the lettuce wraps and appreciate your nice wish. As busy as I’ve been lately, the wraps were an easy meal to get on the table.

  27. One of our favorite meals…….yours look so delightful and tasty!

  28. So light and healthy and no carbs. What could be better. Love your fish dish too. You have such good taste Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sam, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad that you like the recipe and how it was presented. You are right about this being a healthy meal option.

  29. flippenblog says:

    I love this particular Asian dish and it’s varieties. The fish dipping bowl is so cute!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Flippen, I’m glad that you like the lettuce wraps as much as I do…they are delicious. I love the little fish dipping bowl too. 🙂

  30. monique says:

    Pork and sauce #1:-)

  31. Juliana says:

    I love lettuce wrap, and yes, the idea do having two choices of sauce sounds even more attractive.
    Thanks for the recipe Karen…have a lovely week 😀

  32. Eha says:

    Beautiful photos of a much served dish throughout the year here! Easy and wonderfully appetizing. Must admit I use pork or duck more often than chicken and am way heftier with cilantro + mint etc and use heaps of small shallots . . . . . such a fun dish oft used as a main meal . . . . Thanks so much for your version . . ,.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Eha, for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you liked the photos and recipe. Oh yes, this is a recipe that can be changed to what you happen to find fresh at the market. I agree about the herbs, they really do add so much to the flavor.

  33. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Yummy, Karen, this is very much the kind of food we enjoy here in Australia. Delicious!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lizzy, It does appear that the Asian Lettuce wraps are very popular around the world. I’m happy to know that you like my version, thank you.

  34. Michelle says:

    Love your little fish bowl.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Michelle, I’m glad you like the little fish bowl. It is one of my favorite little serving pieces when serving Asian cuisine.

  35. I am a fan of lettuce wraps too. These look delightful, Karen.

  36. This is perfect summer food on these sweltering hot summer days we are currently having. Thank you Karen!

  37. HappyFork says:

    Lettuce is always a better option! It give us extra portion of vitamin A and K. And we save calories!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Happy Fork, Thank you for stopping by for a visit. Lettuce is always a healthy choice, especially when you want to eliminate carbs.

  38. Delicious! These are the exact sort of flavours I crave in summertime and I don’t think you can ever go wrong with lettuce wraps! We used to eat these after school when I was a kid, yum!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Ali, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoy wraps as much as we do. You are right, they make an excellent snack.

  39. ramblingtart says:

    Absolutely scrumptious, Karen. 🙂 Our winter weather is warming up just a little bit and I’m almost ready to eat warm weather foods like this again. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Krista, for your nice compliment, I’m happy that you like the wraps. It is nice to know your winter weather is warming up for you some. 🙂

  40. Love the crispness of these lettuce wraps, Karen! A perfect summer meal.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ksenia, I’m happy that you agree that crisp, fresh lettuce mixed with the Asian flavors of the chicken is perfect for a summer meal. Thank you!

  41. Susan S says:

    We love Asian chicken wraps! I’ll have to check my recipe and see how it compares with yours. I was going to post mine last winter but the lighting was so dark my pics didn’t turn out as pretty as yours 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Susan, for your compliment about the photos. It is a challenge during the dark days of winter to get good food photos of an evening meal. I’m happy that you enjoy Asian chicken wraps as well. 🙂

  42. Looks simple, but very delicious and refreshing. I plan to give them a try soon during our monsoon season, complete with hot, humid weather.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Darryl, I’m glad to know you like the recipe. Yes, I think they make an easy summer meal…I hope you will enjoy them.

  43. This is just the ticket for Tennessee summer days. I love everything about it. So cool and crispy looking.

  44. I made something very similar a few nights ago but the photos were awful….yours look gorgeous so I shall just admire them and enjoy the memory 🙂

  45. Like you I’m really into lettuce wraps. I’ve been gorging on Turkish cherries, walnuts and feta with romaine lettuce recently, with mostly veggie burgers. Easy and delicious. Going to have to use up the romaine hearts, though. Soup it may be tomorrow! Anyway, just love your little fish dipping bowl and serving plate.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Johnny, It is nice to know that you enjoy lettuce wraps as much as I do. Thank you for your compliment, I’m glad you like the serving plate and bowl. They add a nice bit of color and fun to the table. 🙂

  46. These look wonderful! Perfect summer eating..will keep them in mind…thanks!

  47. wok with ray says:

    This looks so good, Karen. I’m sure it’s a hit on every party as a starter or part of the main meal. Delicious! 🙂

  48. Katerina says:

    These wraps look very inviting and so delicious! I love Asian dishes!

  49. The presentation of this dish is stunning, prettier than any restaurant dish! Love is. The Thai dipping sauce in particular is intriguing. Would love to serve this up to company! Would be so impressive.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Laura…I’m flattered that you like my presentation. 😀 This is a great dish to serve company because it can all be prepped ahead of time, which I love.

  50. Rosa Mayland says:

    Delectable, fresh and delightfully summery! This is a dish I love.



  51. now that I am eating GF as much as I possibly can I am always looking for subs for bread in sandwiches and wraps so I find myself with lettuce. I love your lettuce wraps. it looks delicious and easy:)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jessica, I believe you would really enjoy the wraps. There is so much flavor going on with the chicken and then you have the crunch of the lettuce…I don’t think you will miss the bread or other gluten based wrap that you might have eaten before. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  52. I feel like I flip flop with lettuce wraps a lot…sometimes I love them, but sometimes I just don’t get the hullabaloo. But seeing how refreshing these look for this hot summer period, I may definitely need to check it out.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Famished, I know what you are talking about…but I think it is because of how the wraps are prepared. In this case, the main ingredient is well seasoned and has a nice dipping sauce. To me…lots of flavor and the cool crunch of the lettuce means good summer eating. 😀

  53. These look so appealingly perfect for summer outdoor eating!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marlene, I’m happy to know that you like the looks of the Asian chicken wraps. We thought they were great for a summer evening meal. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  54. your right about these wraps being perfect for summer.. definitely be making these in my kitchen tonight. thanks karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Thalia, I’m happy to know that you like the idea of the wraps for a nice summer meal. I hope you enjoy them and appreciate your nice compliment.

  55. What nice cool meal for when it is hot! Of course, this week we have had record low temps here- and I still didn’t want to cook. 🙂 I especially like that little fish bowl………adorable!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelli, I’m glad to know you like the wraps and my little fish sauce bowl, thank you. Our temps have been all over the place this month too…hot one day, cool the next.

  56. Sophie33 says:

    I created a delicious Asian inspired meal this evening, I know that you will like it too! 🙂 This is a fab dinner for me,…aka finger food! x

  57. This is a perfect healthy meal suggestion for our hot summer days here in Seattle.

  58. Karen, this is one of my daughters very favorite recipe – she asks for it all the time and since she is such a spicehead, she always adds quite a bit of spice to her portions! Your version looks wonderful! Such a pretty presentation!
    Hope all is well and you are feeling much better by now!
    Liebe Grüsse – take care,

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Andrea. Your daughter sounds like my husband…he likes extra spice as well. This has definitely been a stressful month but all is well. 🙂

  59. Sissi says:

    I have never seen them here (though maybe I don’t eat out often enough…) but I have always loved the idea of light wrap “package” like lettuce or other bigger leaves (you have remdined me of typical Korean wraps I had in Tokyo made with shiso/perilla into which you put freshly barbecued seasoned meat…). Your Asian wraps sound and look beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sissi, for your lovely compliment. I have to say that your comment surprised me because of all the Asian inspired dishes that you love to make. Even though you live in Switzerland, I thought you would have definitely made something similar. I know you would enjoy the wraps especially if you added extra chilies. 🙂

  60. This is an ideal summer meal! I love this mix of flavors.

  61. Love lettuce cups. Yours look great!

  62. Nice ones!!!
    protein and fibers in one dish is sounds healty, i guess this is a better options than wrapping with carbs like tortilla etc!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dedy, You have it right, the lettuce wraps are a healthy dish compared to using tortillas. You get all the flavors plus a little crispness. The nice thing is that your body will thank you when you get on the scale. 😀

  63. lulu says:

    One of the takeaways from visiting Vietnam was learning how easy wraps are to prepare. They have become a popular choice at our house.

  64. Raymund says:

    I love these ones specially dipping it on those salty fish sauce with some lime, yummy!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Raymund, I’m happy to know that you like my version of chicken lettuce wraps. A good dipping sauce makes all the difference…sweet, salty, sour, and spicy is the way to go. 🙂

  65. Reblogged this on Selkirk Dinner Club and commented:
    this is the perfect summer meal with fresh tender lettuce leaves! Can hardly wait to try it . . . . . .

  66. I hope the posting of a delicious recipe signifies that you’re finding yourself a little less encumbered than you were at the start of your move! I love lettuce wraps when we eat out, but I haven’t even thought of making them at home. I guess I’m not very imaginative in the kitchen. LOL! But I can see this would be an easy summer dish and I’d love to give it a try. The cilantro and the lime wouldn’t have occurred to me and I really love the addition! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, You are correct in your assumptions. Life is getting a little less hectic and a little more organized. Having easy to prepare meals in the evening has really helped and this was one of them. I think you would enjoy the wraps as they are not only easy to prepare but has lots of nice flavors. Thank you for your lovely compliment and kind words.

  67. afracooking says:

    I adore chicken wraps – especiall in this hot weather we are having. Your recipe looks lovely! Ever so tasty.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Afra, I’m happy to know that you not only love chicken wraps but that you like my version. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  68. I don’t know why I don’t make lettuce wraps more often. They are so wonderful, and so versatile. Your recipe sounds fabulous, and very flavorful. Yum, Hugs, Terra

  69. we love lettuce wraps! so healthy!

  70. Your wraps look really flavoursome! I love the Thai dipping sauce.. I have been thinking if making this too.. I am sure I can try this recipe😀

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gursahiba, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I think you will find the recipe not only easy but very tasty.

  71. This is such a great summer meal. I haven’t made chicken wraps in ages and I think I have all the ingredients in the fridge for this recipe. The textures and flavors of these wraps are irresistible.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, It is funny how there are recipes we love but for some reason don’t make all that often. I hope this inspires you to make lettuce wraps again soon.

  72. Kristy says:

    These look like a delicious summer meal Karen! My favorite part is your sauce dish – that is just too cute and perfect for this dish. Love it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, I’m glad you like the idea of lettuce wraps for an summer meal. I have to agree with you about my fish sauce dish…it is cute. Thank you for your comment as always.

  73. I love all the flavors in Thai food – and the way they always seem to be so well balanced – perfection! I love lettuce wraps and this one looks amazing – thanks for a great recipe!

  74. cabinet stew says:

    Well I see I have caught up on my reading- Ironically I will be cruising near your neck of the woods as we have a “great bay” cruise with mom scheduled tomorrow!

  75. I love these lettuce wraps Karen.
    Look amazing to any time.
    This is a nice recipe@

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Gloria, I’m glad you like the chicken lettuce wrap recipe. You are right, I would enjoy the lettuce wraps anytime as well. 🙂

  76. hotlyspiced says:

    I love these lettuce wraps. I often make them in summer as they’re so good on a hot night and also my uni students love them because they’re carb-free! xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, I think a lot of people enjoy the lettuce wraps because you can skip the carbs and still have a terrific meal. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you!

  77. Suzanne says:

    Those are all flavours I love and so healthy with the lettuce leaves.

  78. dishinwithdidi says:

    Awesome recipe and amazing presentation as always my sweet friend! ♥

  79. I love that little fish dish for your dipping sauce. So cute. Our family also loves to eat lettuce wraps when the heat index sky rockets in HK over the summer.

  80. This has always been one of my fave Asian dishes. It is light, delicious, and simple. Either as a main dish or a stater, it is a great summer dish for sure.

  81. flavorsofthesun says:

    What a pretty presentation (love that red tray and fish!) of a classic dish I prepare fairly often. Mine never looked so good.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment, Vicki. I love using a colorful plate when the food itself does have that much color. I’m sure your wraps look great. 🙂

  82. Looks good. I wonder if a little fresh Thai basil added to the chicken would be nice.

  83. Wow! I love it! I’m so hungry right now…

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