Annika Eats

Chicken Lettuce Cups

An easy asian spiced chicken mince stir fry that is served with crispy cold lettuce leaves making for a quick low carb meal. Topped with a burnt garlic, peanut and chili oil that makes it even more delicious. 

I first had lettuce cups/wraps at P.F.Changs in Dubai. I was blown away how the filling and the lettuce wraps worked so well with each other. In saying this, I was adamant to make it as home as a stir fry isn’t complicate to make. The important factor while making a stir fry is to ensure all your ingredients are prepared before you get the pan hot. You want to cook this in a wok or some sort but if you don’t have a wok you could use any frying pan as well. This meal is a low carb meal for 4 and the additional chili oil on top is optional but I think it ties the entire dish together. 

What ingredients do you need to make the Chicken Lettuce Cups? 

I have used chicken mince to make this dish. There are a bunch of basic ingredients like onions, scallions/spring onions, ginger, ginger garlic paste and coriander. I also add fresh lemon grass, lime juice and a few pantry ingredients such as hot sauce, vinegar, soya sauce and hoisin sauce. The addition of peanuts not only adds crunch but also adds a nutty flavor into the chicken. As of the spices I use, cinnamon powder, five spice powder and black pepper powder with a star anise. The optional oil on top uses vegetable oil, crushed peanuts, sliced garlic and chili flakes. 

What substitutes can you use to make the Chicken Lettuce Cups?

Chicken mince – 

You can use beef, lamb or pork mince to make this recipe. You could also use tofu to keep this vegetarian/vegan. 

Spring onions – 

I use the springs twice, one while cooking and the second to garnish. I would recommend not skipping this ingredient as it is really important in the recipe. 

Ginger garlic paste – 

I make my paste at home, you could use store bought or just grated equal amounts of ginger and garlic to make the paste. 

Peanuts – 

This recipe works best with peanuts but you could use cashew nuts as well. 

Five spice powder –

If you can’t find five spice powder you could use a little all spice powder – they are not the same in terms of spice mixtures but it will be a decent substitute while cooking.

Vegetable oil –

We want to use a natural flavored oil that has a high smoking point as when you stir fry the heat is at a high temperature. Same goes with the chili oil as well. 

What equipment do you need to make the Chicken Lettuce Cups?

We need a chopping board and knife to prep all our ingredients, I like using a wok to make this recipe but it works well in a frying pan. We need a spatula to stir the mixture around while cooking. To make the chili oil we need a small sauce pan. 

How to make the Chicken Lettuce Cups?

We start by prepping all our ingredients for the chicken mince and then heat up our pan, add the peanuts and roast – once browned take it off the heat. In the same pan on high heat add vegetable oil. Add the onions, ginger garlic paste, fresh ginger, lemongrass and white part of the spring onions. Add a tiny pinch of salt and stir. Add the chicken mince into the pan once the onion mixture has softened. And fry until there is no liquid in the pan. Add some of the coriander, spices and stir around. Add the vinegar, soya sauce, hot sauce and hoisin sauce, stir until combined and add the peanuts. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding some water and letting it cook completely. After the water has evaporated, check for seasoning and garnish with more coriander on top. Set aside. 

To make the oil, we slice our garlic really fine. Add the vegetable oil in a pan, add the sliced garlic and chili flakes, we let this cook for a minute and add the peanuts. Stir it around and cook until the garlic a little golden brown. It will continue to cook once it is taken off the heat. 

How to serve the Chicken Lettuce Cups?

Gently remove the lettuce leaves from the lettuce head and wash in cold water, pat it dry and place on a serving tray. Scoop the chicken mixture into he lettuce leaves, top with the chili oil and the green part of the spring onions. Serve with lime wedges while it is still hot and lettuce is cold. 

How to store the Chicken Lettuce Cups?

You can store the chicken mixture for up to a week in the fridge in an air tight container. The chili oil must be consumed immediately as the garlic will not stay crispy very long. Also once the lettuce cups have been filled they should be consumed fast as they will wilt and loose its texture. 

Now that we have covered how to make this recipe, let us get down to stir frying some chicken to make this low carb meal. Happy Cooking Ninjas!

Chicken Lettuce Cups

An easy asian spiced chicken mince stir fry that is served with crispy cold lettuce leaves making for a quick low carb meal. Topped with a burnt garlic, peanut and chili oil that makes it even more delicious.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Brunch, Lunch
Cuisine Chinese, Thai
Servings 4 People

Equipment

  • Wok/Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Small sauce pan
  • Knife
  • Chopping board

Ingredients
  

  • 4 heads Baby Lettuce

Chicken filling

  • 2 tbsp Veg oil
  • 500 gm Chicken mince
  • 1 medium Onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh Ginger finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Lemongrass finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh Coriander finely chopped
  • 2 Spring onions sliced
  • 3/4 cup Peanuts roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp Five spice powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Chili oil

  • 3 tbsp Veg oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Peanuts roughly chopped

Garnish

  • Spring onions
  • Lime wedges

Instructions
 

  • Prep all the ingredients: Slice the onions, finely chop the fresh ginger, finely chop the lemongrass, finely chop the fresh coriander, cut the white part of the springs onions and save the green for later. Chop the peanuts get all the ingredients out, in proximity.
  • In a wok or frying pan roast the peanuts until browned and take it off the heat and transfer to a bowl. In the same pan on high heat add the vegetable oil, onions, ginger garlic paste, fresh ginger, lemongrass and white part of the spring onions. Add a tiny pinch of salt and stir.
  • Add the chicken mince into the pan once the onion mixture has softened. And fry until there is no liquid in the pan. Add some of the coriander, spices and stir around.
  • Add the vinegar, soya sauce, hot sauce and hoisin sauce, stir until combined. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding some water and letting it cook completely. After the water has evaporated, check for seasoning and garnish with more coriander on top. Set aside.
  • To make the oil, we slice our garlic really fine. Add the vegetable oil in a pan, add the sliced garlic and chili flakes, we let this cook for a minute and add the peanuts. Stir it around and cook until the garlic a little golden brown. It will continue to cook once it is taken off the heat.
  • Gently remove the lettuce leaves from the lettuce head and wash in cold water, pat it dry and place on a serving tray. Scoop the chicken mixture into he lettuce leaves, top with the chili oil and the green part of the spring onions. Serve with lime wedges while it is still hot and lettuce is cold.

Notes

  • You must prep your ingredients ahead of cooking to ensure a smooth stir frying process.
  • Check the write up above for substitute options.
  • If you are serving this for a party, fill the lettuce cups at the time of serving or else they will wilt down.

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