Indian Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps
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Chicken lettuce wraps – Flavored with cumin and coriander powder and garnished with coriander leaves, this flavorful Indian take on the classic chicken lettuce wrap recipe will have you clamoring for seconds. The best part is you can make this for dinner in under 20 minutes.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps 101
A classic chicken lettuce wrap is made by cooking ground chicken with Asian sauces with water chestnuts and green onions. It is then served in a lettuce leaf with rice sticks sprinkled on top. While lettuce wraps are often labeled as an appetizer, it is so filling that you can make a meal out of it.
Though lettuce wraps have been part of South Asian cuisine for hundreds of years, it became popular in the US – thanks to P.F. Changs – a hugely popular and successful chain restaurant in the US. Their lettuce wraps are severely addicting and people can’t get enough of it.
No wonder the internet is full of copycat recipes.
How to make chicken lettuce wraps
To make lettuce wraps, apart from ground chicken and lettuce, and staples such as onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce you also need hoisin sauce, white vinegar, and water chestnuts. I am not a huge fan of buying an ingredient if I am not going to use them frequently so I substituted these ingredients and added a teaspoon of cumin, coriander powder, lime juice and sprinkled coriander leaves to give this dish my own spin.
If you are looking for a traditional way to make chicken lettuce wraps, I would recommend Chungah’s recipe – I adapted mine from her blog – Damn Delicious.
Here are the substitutions I made –
- Replaced Hoisin sauce with a combination of peanut butter, soy sauce, and honey
- Skipped chestnuts and used peanuts for the crunch
- Added a teaspoon of coriander and cumin powder to make it Indian-inspired.
- Added lemon juice and cilantro as a final touch.
- Used distilled vinegar instead of white
- Doubled the amount of sriracha sauce (For those who like it spicy :-))
What lettuce do you use for wraps?
Both Boston and Bibb lettuce make great wraps but I recommend Boston butterhead because they are softer and bruise less easily compared to Bibb.
Serving suggestions – Don’t have lettuce wraps? Don’t worry. This dish tastes great with rice as well and if you have leftover rotis at home, you can use them too!
Step by step photos
- Gather all the ingredients
- Cook the meat – Add oil to a wok kept over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and using a spatula break it down into small pieces as it cooks. Continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce – Add all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.
- Add the remaining ingredients – Add the sauce, onions, ginger, garlic, green onions, green chilies along with coriander and cumin powder. Cook till the onions have softened and turned translucent, and all the liquid has been absorbed – will take about 4 to 5 minutes.
- The finishing touch – Squeeze lemon juice over the ground chicken and add coriander leaves. Mix well.
- Serve – Gently separate the leaves from the lettuce. To serve, place spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the center of a lettuce leaf. Enjoy immediately.
Other recipes to try
- Vegetable fried rice – This easy vegetable fried rice recipe made with leftover brown rice and veggies needs only 15 minutes and is so much better than takeout!
- Thai basil chicken – This better than take-out recipe is loaded with flavor and vegetables for a dish that will satisfy your cravings for Thai food in a pinch.
Indian Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or sesame oil
- 1 pound ground chicken [see note]
- ½ cup diced onions
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1-2 green chilies finely chopped [optional]
- 1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- salt as needed [see note]
For the sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro coriander leaves
- ¼ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
- 1 head butter lettuce Bibb or Boston
- Cook the meat - Add oil to a wok on medium heat. Add the ground chicken, and use a spatula to break it down into small pieces as it cooks. Continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce - Add all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.
- Add the remaining ingredients - Add the sauce, onions, ginger, garlic, green onions, and green chilies, along with coriander and cumin powder.
- Cook till the onions have softened and turned translucent, and all the liquid has been absorbed - about 4 to 5 minutes. Do a taste test and salt if needed.
- The finishing touch - Squeeze lemon juice over the ground chicken and add coriander leaves. Mix well.
- Serve - Gently separate the leaves from the lettuce. To serve, place spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the center of a lettuce leaf. Enjoy immediately.
- Make sure you use organic ground chicken made from 100% breast meat, such as Bell and Evan’s ground chicken from Whole Foods. This ensures that there are no bones in your chicken.
- Feel free to substitute chicken with tofu or cottage cheese (paneer)
- I don't add salt because soy sauce already contains sodium.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.