These Asian Lettuce Wraps are BETTER than PF Chang's! How do I know? Because I've been making various copycat versions for years and these are the most incredible Asian Lettuce Wraps I've ever had!
Full disclosure here; this recipe has been on my website for a while now and I decided to convert it to the Ninja Foodi. Why? Because I don't cook with my stove or oven. I cook with the Ninja Foodi and my husband requested I make these!
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I haven't thought about them in quite awhile, and then I received a nice message from Wendy, saying that she and her daughter had made them and loved them! I told my husband and he wanted them right away.
I always do as my husband says... no, I don't really, but this time I did!
What type of meat can I use for Asian Lettuce Wraps?
I would recommend using ground chicken or ground turkey, but thinly sliced steak would work great too! I'm not sure about using ground beef, I think the flavors would be a little odd, but if you give it a try I want to hear all about it!
Another option would be thinly sliced chicken. If you decided to use raw chicken, I would put it in at the beginning with the honey and vinegar so it has a chance to cook all the way and you can reduce the juices for a nice thick sauce.
What type of lettuce works best?
I used Iceberg lettuce in this recipe, but you could use any type of lettuce you wanted to.
Butter Lettuce would be a great choice because you have a nice lettuce cup as soon as you remove the leaves.
Romaine lettuce would also work well. You just want to make sure to rinse and dry the lettuce well before adding the filling.
Can I adapt Asian Lettuce wraps for a Low Carb diet?
Absolutely! The main source of carbohydrates in this recipe is in the honey. So, to make it lower carb, omit the honey and substitute it for a lower carb sweetener.
You could use Stevia, Monk fruit, or any other low carb sweetener you like. Since the honey also acts as a thickening agent, you may want to add a little (and I mean a little) xanthan gum or other thickener of choice so the sauce can thicken up and coat the chicken.
You may also want to skip the carrots since they are high in carbs as well. However, the little bit in this recipe really won't make much of a difference.
Other than that, you are good to go.
How else could I use this filling if I didn't want lettuce wraps?
The Asian Lettuce Wrap filling is so good, I can eat it just like it is! Spoonful after spoonful of it! It would also be wonderful on these Asian Steam Buns! Oh, my mouth is watering for them right now!
You can find the recipe for Asian Steamed Buns made right in the Ninja Foodi right HERE: Asian Steamed Buns in the Ninja Foodi
I filled the Asian Steamed Buns with an Asian Pulled Pork and that is also incredible!
You can find the recipe for the pulled pork right HERE: Asian Pulled Pork in the Ninja Foodi
Some other great uses for the filling would be:
- As a spring roll filling
- On a salad with a little Asian salad dressing
- Hollow out a cucumber and make stuffed cucumber boats
- Serve it on cucumber slices as an hors d'oeuvre
- Eat it with a spoon... I'm not joking!
- Use it as a stuffing for stuffed peppers
- Pile it on top of ice cream... okay, I'm joking. Don't do that.
What other ways can you think of to use this delicious Asian filling? Let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the list. Unless it's something like, fill a tire with it and eat it. Yeah, I'm not adding that!
How to Make Asian Lettuce Wraps
This is where I really get excited, because these are soooo easy to make! If you would rather watch me make these lettuce wraps, you can find the step-by-step video HERE: Asian Lettuce Wraps in the Ninja Foodi
This video is filming stovetop preparation, but it is the same basic steps in the Ninja Foodi.
I always suggest gathering your ingredients ahead of time. It just makes it easier. We don't need to do much prep beforehand because we can do that while the sauce is reducing and the chicken is cooking.
A few things I do like to do is slice the hot or sweet peppers, chop up the cilantro and green onion, crush the peanuts, mince the garlic, and peel and grate the ginger. That way all of the ingredients for the filling is ready to go, because this is quick! I use several different tools to make this prep even faster and I'll share them with you below:
Double-Sided Meat Tenderizer: Not only does this work great for tenderizing tougher cuts of meats, it's great for pounding chicken and crushing cookies and nuts. I use this to crush the nuts in this recipe. I put the peanuts in a plastic baggy, get most of the air out (so it doesn't pop), and use the flat side of the meat tenderizer to crush the nuts in 10 seconds flat. It's super easy. You can find the Double-Sided Meat Tenderizer that I use right HERE: Pampered Chef Meat Tenderizer
Garlic Press: I can't even begin to tell you what a time saver this one is! If you like to use garlic and hate mincing it, you NEED this in your life! You can find the Garlic Press I use right HERE: Pampered Chef Garlic Press
Microplane Zester: I use this zester all the time. It works great for grating ginger, but also for zesting fruits and grating hard cheeses. If you don't have one in your kitchen, this is a must have kitchen tool. Here is one similar to the one I use: Microplane Zester
Next, turn the Ninja Foodi on to high sear/sauté and add in the vinegar, sliced hot peppers and the honey. Stir to combine and make sure none of the honey is sitting in the middle or it could burn. Let the mixture sauté until the sauce reduces in half. This takes about 5-10 minutes.
While the sauce is reducing, get your ground chicken ready. If it was frozen and now thawed, drain off any excess liquid. Once the sauce is reduced in half, add the chicken, lemongrass, orange zest, 2 Tablespoons orange juice and salt. Use the Mix 'N Chop or other utensil that is safe for nonstick pans to break up the ground chicken. Let sauté on high until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, get the rest of your toppings ready and separate the leaves from the lettuce for your wraps.
- Slice the cumbers thin
- Cut the carrots into matchsticks or grate
- Cut the purple cabbage into strips
- Wash and dry the bean sprouts
Once the chicken is cooked, close the TenderCrisp lid and set to broil for 5 minutes. This is going to add some color to the chicken and concentrate the sauce a bit more, but it is totally optional.
Stir in the cilantro, green onions, and peanuts.
Put the chicken filling into your lettuce leaf, add toppings of choice, wrap, and enjoy!
Asian Lettuce Wraps
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
For the Filling
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2-3 chili pepper red jalapeno or Fresno or Thai chili peppers
- 1 pound chicken ground
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp lemongrass I use Gourmet Garden
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger root peeled and grated
- 1 orange zest & 2 Tbsp juice
- 2 Tbsp green onions chopped
- 2 Tbsp cilantro chopped
- 3 Tbsp peanuts roasted and crushed
- 1 carrot
- ⅛ cabbage purple
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 cucumber sliced thin
- Turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/saute and add in the rice vinegar, honey, and sliced chili peppers. Remove the seeds for less heat. Stir to combine the honey with the vinegar and make sure none of the honey is sitting in the middle of the pot or it might burn. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add in ground chicken, salt, lemongrass, ginger, and garlic. Zest the orange and squeeze 2 Tablespoons of its juice into the inner pot. Continue to saute on high until the chicken is cooked through. This takes about 7-10 minutes.
- Close the TenderCrisp lid and set to broil. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the chicken has browned up some and the liquid is gone.
- Add in the cilantro, green onions, and peanuts. Stir to combine.
- Serve on lettuce leaves and add toppings. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.