Most of my filling up on Thai food has been on the occasions that we treat ourselves to eating out. Although this is an enjoyable approach to satisfying my Thai food cravings, we might be on the streets if we ate at a Thai restaurant every time a craving for Thai food struck.
Solution: I am cooking more Thai foods at home!
Among my favorite items to enjoy at a Thai restaurant are lettuce wraps. They are fun, light, filling, and get your hands all messy.
Who doesn’t love messy hands at a restaurant?
Okay, maybe lettuce wraps aren’t the best menu item to order on a first date. When you’re married though, anything goes!
These Thai chicken lettuce wraps are my version of a traditional lettuce wrap. I have to admit that I was nervous that this recipe wouldn’t live up to my high expectations.
Your worst critic is yourself sometimes, no?
However, the end result did me justice. These lettuce wraps are everything they should be. They are meaty, sweet and spicy, filled with tons of satisfying crunch, saucy, messy, filling, yet light.
Even though the list of ingredients may be a little long, it is really easy to put together, and it only takes 35 minutes!
Homemade Thai food in 35 minutes? Yes, please!
As I am typing this post, leftovers of these lettuce wraps are sitting in my fridge just waiting to be devoured for dinner.
Is it 5:00 yet?
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil, or coconut oil
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled, chopped or grated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons plum sauce
- 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained, sliced into strips
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 cups shredded white cabbage (I bought mine pre-shredded at the grocery store)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (I bought mine pre-shredded at the grocery store)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch + a few tablespoons filtered water
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce + filtered water
- FOR SERVING:
- 12 to 16 leaves from a head of Boston Butter Lettuce
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Lime wedges
- Chopped cilantro
- Heat a wok or a large, high-rimmed skillet over medium-high heat and heat the grape seed oil, tilting the wok to spread the oil onto the sides.
- Once the oil is hot add the ground chicken, breaking it up. Cook until it is thoroughly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, sriracha sauce (optional), and plum sauce. Stir to combine and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ¼ cup filtered water and sauté for 3 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated.
- Add the sliced chestnuts, cilantro, green onion, shredded carrots, and shredded cabbage. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and a little bit of water until smooth. Add the mixture to the chicken. Stir to combine and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil.
- FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
- In a small bowl mix together ¼ cup sweet chili sauce, and a little bit of filtered water just until the consistency is pourable. I would suggest adding a tablespoon at a time.
- Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside.
- FOR SERVING:
- Place as many butter lettuce leaves on a platter as you plan to use. Place the chicken mixture in a separate bowl with a spoon. Place the dipping sauce, chopped peanuts and cilantro in separate bowls with spoons so guests can top their lettuce wraps as desired.
- Just before eating, assemble your lettuce wrap by placing a tablespoon or two of the chicken mixture into a lettuce leaf. Top with dipping sauce, a squeeze of lime, chopped peanuts, and cilantro as desired. Fold the lettuce leaf around the chicken mixture, similar to a taco and eat immediately.
- Store leftovers in separate containers for up to 4 to 5 days.
This recipe is a medium spice that gently builds as you are eating it. If you don’t want it to be spicy you can cut back on the sriracha sauce or omit it completely. The chili garlic sauce also has a little spice to it