You'll love the combination of spicy chili peppers, tangy rice vinegar, lemon grass, ginger, and perfectly balanced honey flavor; topped with a rainbow of veggies and all wrapped up in a lettuce leaf.
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps are one of my favorite experiments!
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Move over P.F. Chang, there is a new wrap in town!
After ordering the famous lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang's several years ago, I knew I HAD to make these at home! YUM! And I did, over and over and over again. Always changing up the flavor; sometimes adding curry flavors; sometimes sticking to the basics. Then... it happened! I nailed it!
I specifically remember my husband saying to me, after we devoured a plate of tasty and healthy Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, "these were the best you've ever made!"
Thank you, husband. There is only one problem... I can never replicate them because I have no idea how I made them! The struggle is real! True to who I
am was, I never wrote down the recipe! I tried and tried to replicate those perfectly balanced Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, but each time they were just a little different, I could never nail those flavors like I did that one time. I tried... I really tried.
When you can't duplicate, change it up!
When I'm cooking off the cuff, which is most of the time, I don't really pay attention to what or how much of anything I add. I simply build on the basics until it tastes good to me. This is one of the reasons I love cooking so much, you can do pretty much anything you want and as long as YOU like it, it's a winner!
So, over the last several years, I often made different versions of Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps. We really liked the version with curry and peanut butter, too bad I didn't write that recipe down either! You would think I would have learned, but nope! All the various versions were good... but not quite as good as that one version that stole our taste buds and won our hearts! UNTIL NOW!!!!
That's right! I nailed it again! YAY! And the best part... I wrote down the recipe! Double YAY!
This version of Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps uses simple ingredients that can be found in your local grocery store, takes less than 20 minutes to cook, and most importantly... they are DELICIOUS and HEALTHY!
Check out how easy this recipe is, here's a quick video:
What you'll need:
- Rice Vinegar
- Red Chili Peppers
- Fresh Ginger
- Lemon Grass Paste
- Ground Chicken Breast *
- Small orange or Tangelo
- Green Onions
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Optional Garnishes: spiralized or matchstick carrots, bean sprouts, purple cabbage, sliced cucumbers, whole or crushed peanuts (I added mine at the end of cooking), sliced red peppers (if you REALLY like it spicy)
Dice two red chili peppers. I removed the seeds, but if you like it spicy then add them in. In a heavy bottomed sauté pan (I LOVE my All-Clad sauté pan), add the diced red chili peppers, rice vinegar, and honey. Allow to simmer (almost a boil) for about 5-10 minutes or until the peppers have softened and the sauce has reduced by half and darkens some. Stir frequently to prevent burning (I almost burned my sauce in the video).
Add in ground chicken* and season with salt. Grate ginger with a microplane or zester. Add lemon grass, grated ginger & minced garlic. Add in zest (a good Tbsp) and 2 Tbsp juice from orange or tangelo. Stir frequently to ensure chicken is cooked through. This takes about 5 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and stir. You can add in whole peanuts now or use them as a garnish if you'd like.
Remove stem from iceberg lettuce and gently remove outer leaves. If they aren't pulling away easily, you can cut one side of the lettuce and the leaves will come off easier. Cut up your choice of garnishes. Sorry, I didn't take too many pictures at this stage. I guess I was trying to hurry up because I wanted to EAT them!
Place cooked chicken mixture in a bowl and serve with lettuce and any or all of the garnishes you like. Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce, add toppings, wrap, & devour!
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 small orange or tangelo zest and juice (about 1 Tbsp zest & 2 Tbsp juice)
- 2 red chili peppers
- 1 Tbsp lemon grass paste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 lb ground chicken breast *
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp chopped green onion
- Head of iceberg lettuce
- ½ cup Peanuts
- ⅛ head shreddedPurple Cabbage
- 1 cup Bean Sprouts
- 1 Carrot shredded spiralized or cut into matchsticks
- 1 Cucumbers Sliced
- ¼ cup chopped Cilantro
- Dice two red chili peppers. I removed the seeds, but if you like really spicy than add them in.
- In a heavy bottomed sauté pan, add the diced red chili peppers, rice vinegar, and honey.
- Allow to simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until the peppers have softened and the sauce has reduced by half.
- Add in ground chicken and season with salt.
- Add lemon grass, grated ginger & minced garlic.
- Add in orange zest (about 1 Tbsp) and 2 Tbsp juice from orange
- Stir frequently to ensure chicken is cooked through. This takes about 5 minutes. Add chopped cilantro & green onions, stir and remove from heat.
- You can add in whole peanuts now or use them as a garnish if you'd like.
- Remove stem from iceberg lettuce and gently remove outer leaves. If they aren't pulling away easily, you can cut one side of the lettuce and the leaves will come off easier.
- Cut up your choice of garnishes.
- Place cooked chicken mixture in a bowl and serve with lettuce and any or all of the garnishes you like.
- Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce, add toppings, wrap, & devour!
* I used my Kitchen Aid grinder attachment and ground chicken breasts to make my own ground chicken. It's amazing how quick & easy grinding your own meat is and I saved $2.00 per pound!