Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These healthy Asian chicken lettuce wraps are an easy twist on the classic Thai recipe that are lower-carb, gluten-free and so delicious!
Larb Gai: almost as fun to eat as it is to say. That’s the inspiration behind these Asian chicken lettuce wraps.
If you have ever gone out for Thai food (I am choosing to TRUST that you have) then you will probably have seen this on the menu. I find it’s not very well known as most people bypass the whole “leafy green” part of Thai menus and head straight over to the rice-and-noodles/ Thai basil chicken stir fry, or orange beef stir fry kinda section. But these Asian chicken lettuce wraps are nothing to turn your nose up at.
The typical larb gai recipe has finely ground toasted rice, which this one doesn’t. So, TECHNICALLY it’s not a traditional chicken larb recipe, but you get the idea, right?
It’s also not traditional because I am making you chicken larb gai LETTUCE WRAPS instead of making it into a pretty little salad that you eat with a fork. I told you my feelings on this in the Slow Cooker Asian chicken lettuce wraps. I know that you agree with me.
Why You Will LOVE This Recipe
- The lettuce wraps themselves are a flavor explosion of punchy garlic and onion with crisp peppers, crunchy cucumbers and these bursts of fresh mint and Thai basil dancing across your tongue with juicy pieces of ground chicken.
- Then, you douse these Asian chicken lettuce wraps in a sweet, salty and tangy, super-simple dipping sauce and when you put it all inside your mouth pretty much everything in the world makes sense.
- If you like strong sauces, you will LOVE this one. Just be warned: use it sparingly. It’s salty and tangy and fishy in an actually authentic kind of Thai way.
- It’s an introduction to a part of the Thai menu that you may not even glance at. I have nothing against pad Thai and green curries but I am so happy I gave this a go.
Are Asian chicken Lettuce Wraps Healthy?
I would have to say yes, this Thai meal is very healthy. Using lean ground chicken, you’re incorporating less fat into the dish and you get a healthy dose of protein from it, as well as the peanuts. The use of lettuce wraps keeps this dish low-carb and the rest of the meal is filled with tons of healthy vegetables, which are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can also alter any ingredients to suit your dietary preferences with ease.
the larb gai:
- 1 tbsp peanut oil, divided (avocado oil for paleo)
- 1/2 lb 93% lean ground chicken
- 1/4 cup shallots, diced (about 2 large shallots)
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup cucumber, diced (about 1/2 a large cucumber)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 a large pepper)
- 1/4 cup green onions, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh mint, diced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp Thai chili, minced (1/2 chili)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or sugar-free sweetener for lower carb)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
- chopped peanuts, for garnish (or cashews)
- lettuce of choice (I like cabbage)
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a medium sized pan on MEDIUM heat. Cook the ground chicken until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate and set aside for later use. Heat the remaining oil in a small pan over MED-HIGH heat and cook the shallots and garlic until they are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
Combine all the salad ingredients, excluding the fish sauce, in a large bowl. Add in garlic, shallots and chicken and stir until well combined.
Pour the 2 tablespoons of fish sauce over the chicken and vegetable mixture and toss until it is evenly coated. Set aside.
Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Fill each lettuce cup with chicken/vegetable mixture and top with chopped nuts and a drizzle of sauce (or you can dip the wrap into the sauce.)
What is Larb?
Larb itself is a salad based on minced meat and is often called the national dish of Laos, although it’s super popular in Thailand (hence why you find it in Thai restaurants).
Larb Gai (sometimes pronounced as laab gai) which is translated as chicken larb, is a Thai-style salad that is made up of ground chicken mixed with diced red peppers, shallots, cucumbers, Thai basil (GAH, this stuff is ah-may-zing!), mint and some sort of leafy green. It is topped with a sweet and spicy dressing made of fish sauce, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice and diced Thai chili peppers.
If you find the sauce too hot or too salty/fishy, you should probably find a good peanut sauce. Check out this recipe, in which I list the ingredients/instructions for one you could use.
You can totally use my favorite lettuce-wrap lettuce: butter lettuce. BUT, for these chicken larb gai lettuce wraps, I REALLY love cabbage. It’s a little sturdier and has this nice crispy crunch that really plays well with the soft, juicy ground chicken.
If you own a pressure washer, use that to wash your hands after you dice a Thai chili. I used the regular old kitchen sink and thought that would get the juices from the chili off my hands. I then rubbed my eyeballs. I clearly thought wrong.
how to store asian chicken lettuce wraps
Let the wraps cool completely. Store the filling in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. It should keep for up to 4 days. I would store the lettuce separately (I’m assuming you are tearing off the pieces of lettuce as you need them.). When you’re ready to eat them, reheat the filling in the microwave or on the stove in a pan until heated all the way through. You can also store the chicken mixture in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1 Tbsp Peanut oil, divided (avocado oil for paleo)
- 1/2 Lb 93% Lean Ground Chicken
- 1/4 Cup Shallots diced (about 2 large shallots)
- 1 Tbsp Fresh garlic minced
- 3/4 Cup Cucumber diced (about 1/2 a large cucumber)
- 1/2 Cup Red bell pepper diced (about 1/2 a large pepper)
- 1/4 Cup Green onions diced
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Thai basil roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp Fresh mint diced
- 2 Tbsp Fish sauce
For the sauce: ** Read notes
- 2 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp Thai chili, minced (1/2 chili)
- 1 Tbsp Coconut sugar (or sugar free sweetener for lower carb)
- 1/2 Tbsp Fresh garlic, minced
- Chopped peanuts, for garnish (or cashews)
- Lettuce of choice (I like cabbage)
- Heat 1/2 Tbsp of the peanut oil in a medium pan on medium heat. Cook the ground chicken until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate and set aside for later use.
- Heat the remaining oil in a small pan over medium/high heat and cook the shallots and garlic until they are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Combine all the salad ingredients, excluding the fish sauce, in a large bowl. Add in garlic, shallots and chicken and stir until well combined.
- Pour the 2 tablespoons of fish sauce over the chicken and vegetable mixture and toss until it is evenly coated. Set aside.
- Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Fill each lettuce cup with chicken/vegetable mixture and top with chopped nuts and a drizzle of sauce (or you can dip the wrap into the sauce.)
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