Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Dear Iceberg Lettuce, I do hereby apologize for all those times I have ignored you, walked passed you, and even scuffed at you. Sincerely, A Now Loyal Fan.

I guess I had one too many icky iceberg salads growing up to have taken it seriously, and mostly avoided it. There probably was a time or two I made sure to walk on the opposite side of the aisle from it in the grocery store, just to be safe you know.

Even after being sold on lettuce wrapped burgers recently I only tried it for these lettuce wraps because our store was out of Boston lettuce. Glad that was the case, forcing me to branch out, because the iceberg rocked it’s wrapping duties yet again. The perfect crisp freshness!

Ok, enough about iceberg. I just had to give it a shout out as I am such a new convert. But, it still is the side kick – a loyal one, but a side kick. The hero is definitely the filling – chicken and carrots cooked in a five spice sauce rich with umami.

If you have never had Chinese Five Spice before I highly recommend trying it! It adds a balanced combination of sweet and earthy spices to a dish. That means complexity of flavors easily. Blend it with some fish sauce (for umami), dates (for sweetness), and garlic and ginger and you have a healthy flavorful sauce to cook the chicken in.

The chicken and carrots only need to cook a few minutes before the sauce gets added to it and they simmer together until the sauce, thickened by dates, is reduced and the chicken and carrots are tender.

With the finishing touches of red pepper and onion for fresh color, and lime juice to brighten it up, a delicious (and quick) dinner is done.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time

Cook Time

Total Time

15 Min

  15 Min

  30 Min


Makes 4 Servings

  • 2 Tbsp Heat Stable Oil (such as ghee or lard)
  • 1lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 lb Carrots, diced into 1/4” pieces
  • 12 Medjool Dates
  • 1 ½ C Chicken Stock (preferably homemade and unsalted)
  • 4 Tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1” Piece Ginger
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1 ½ Tsp Toasted Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt (omit if using salted stock)
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes (omit for mild)

For Serving:

  • 1 Head Iceberg Lettuce
  • 1 Red Pepper, diced
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Green Onion Sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds


1. In a large skillet heat the heat stable oil over high heat for 2-3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a blender blend the dates, chicken stock, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, five spice, and toasted sesame seed oil until smooth.

3. Add the carrots, chicken, salt and red pepper flakes if using, into the skillet. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the outside of the chicken is white, but it doesn’t need to be cooked through.

4. Add the sauce, and turn the heat up to high. Boil, stirring frequently, for about 8-10 minutes until the sauce has reduced into a very thick sauce that is just coating the chicken and carrots. Stir constantly as it starts to get thick to prevent burning.

5. Quarter the iceberg lettuce and take the outer 1” or so of leaves from each quarter. Save the inner leaves for another use. Divide into cups for the chicken, doubling up the flimsy ones. Don’t overfill, or things will get a bit messy.

6. Garnish wraps with sesame seeds, green onions, diced pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Nutritional Facts  (Per Serving)













One Response

  1. Thalia @ butter and brioche September 8, 2015

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