Appetizer Asian Chicken Gluten Free Healthy Take Out

Spicy Ginger Lettuce Wraps

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Spicy Ginger Lettuce Wraps 5

Spicy Ginger Lettuce Wraps are a delicious low carb appetizer or light meal.  Serrano pepper and an extra dose of ginger give these an extra flavor boost.

Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps 2
I made these extra spicy extra ginger-y chicken lettuce wraps for my husband and a few of his friends the other night.  I had to take my photos fast before things got a little messy.  Lettuce wraps are  the sloppy joes of the Asian world… they taste great but it’s a little bit of a challenge to get them into your mouth, and using a knife and fork is out of the question.  The idea is to spoon a portion of the piping hot chicken filling into the center of a lettuce leaf, then quickly fold and roll it like a burrito and take a big bite before half of it falls out onto your lap or the lettuce rips.  Both of those last two things will happen, by the way.


When you order these in restaurants you usually get iceberg lettuce.  I think the crisp/tender leaves of Bibb, or butter, lettuce is more delicious, and more malleable for wrapping.  Look for a large head so you can harvest enough large, wrap-able leaves.  You can use the smaller inner leaves as little cups for one-bite sized portions.  I actually prefer to eat these that way, the inner leaves are more sturdy and you avoid (most of) the mess.

Spicy Ginger Lettuce Wraps 1

My recipe is very similar to what you’d find at your favorite Chinese restaurant except that I’ve really bumped up the heat and the ginger flavor.  If you aren’t such a fan, just use less.  When it comes to Asian food, I like mine extra spicy ~  check out my Spicy Asian Slaw Summer Rolls,  my Firecracker Chicken, and my Spicy Cashew Chicken.   Heck, I even spice up tofu, a notoriously bland Asian staple: Spicy Tofu Pad Thai.

Spicy Ginger Lettuce Wraps 5
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Spicy Ginger Lettuce Wraps


  • I large head of Bibb lettuce
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 5 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
  • 4 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 hot pepper I used a Serrano minced, seeds and all
  • 1 can water chestnuts drained and finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped colorful bell peppers
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced, white and green parts
  • sesame seeds for garnish optional

for the sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili paste or sriracha sauce
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Carefully remove the leaves from the head of lettuce, Wash and dry them well, and set aside.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together in a measuring cup and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok and add the ground chicken. Stir fry, breaking up the chicken into small crumbles, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the meat to a plate.
  • Add 3 more tablespoons of oil to the pan and stir fry the ginger, garlic and hot pepper for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water chestnuts and bell peppers and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and cook for 2 more minutes, then throw in the scallions.
  • Shove the contents of the wok to one side and add the sauce to the other, Tilt the pan over the heat so the sauce can come to a boil and thicken. Once the sauce thickens, combine everything and heat through.
  • Spoon the hot filling alongside the lettuce leaves, but do not wrap them ahead of time or the lettuce will wilt. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Spicy Ginger Lettuce Wraps square



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    What great flavor combinations. Have to give this a try.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Just made these the best thanks for recipe

    • Reply
      February 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      So glad you liked them, Jo!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I made these tonight after finding this recipe. I LOVE them. They are one of the best/different suppers I have made in a long time. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      January 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      So glad to hear that, thanks Moira!

  • Reply
    Anna @ The Table
    January 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I have a lot of lettuce in the fridge and this will be a perfect way to use it. It looks so tasty!

  • Reply
    thyme (sarah)
    January 20, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Those lettuce wraps look delicious. I love ordering them in restaurants…sometimes as the meal. A much healthier option than the caneles that I made and devoured this weekend!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Yes please! We don’t eat much Chinese out since our favorite place closed (to be replaced with a sushi place I LOVE, so I can’t complain too much), so these guys are particularly welcome. I will definitely be going for the full ginger punch!

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    January 19, 2014 at 9:54 am

    These are always a favorite!

  • Reply
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane
    January 18, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Mmm … have been craving lighter mains recently (just might have something to do with the 100 degree Australian heat!) so am keen to try this. Thank you!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 18, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    San chou bau love them!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 18, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I love lettuce wraps, especially with extra spice and ginger!

  • Reply
    Sarah Toasty
    January 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    extra spicy and extra ginger-y? sold!