Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Years ago when I heard someone mention them making chicken that had a peanut butter sauce on it I thought they were nuts.  I mean peanut butter on chicken?  For real?  I mean bacon sure because bacon literally goes with EVERYTHING! Yes, EVERYTHING!  Name one thing that it doesn’t… go on, I’ll wait.

…waiting

Yeah, thought not. LOL But anyway, peanut butter… that’s just weird, right?  NOPE!  OMG Thai Peanut sauce is the BOMB!  OMG!  Seriously I would not steer your wrong on this.  It’s not your typical pb&j taste but rather it’s creamy, nutty (duh) and with the Thai flavors a bit of heat on the back end of your throat. You can add as little as much heat as you like.  For me it’s just a beautiful well-balanced flavor that is killer!  And OMG that sauce on a chicken or turkey burger!!!  For real, it’s off the hook!

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps12

Wait, did I just write “off the hook”???  What am I 21 (I wish!)?  Dear lord I’m losing it.  HAHAHA  So let’s dish about this dish.  If I had to describe it in one word I’d have to say fanfriggentastic!  It’s light but filling.  I don’t have to feel guilty eating 2 or 4 of them as the carbs are almost nil and it’s healthy. Yes I know it has peanut butter in it but it’s not a huge amount.  Plus it’s high in protein!  GO CHICKEN!

Now if you love your flour or corn tortilla wrap you can most certainly do that but if you’re counting calories OR want a healthier version definitely go with the lettuce.  You can really use any type though stick with lettuce (or even cabbage) that you can roll or fold over easily.  I’ve made these with radicchio and it was heavenly.  A bit tart but still good – I find radicchio to be “bitey”.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

It’s funny when I hear friends say “I’m watching what I’m eating so for lunch or dinner I’ll just get a wrap instead of a sandwich”.  Folks fail to realize that the wraps themselves are often the most calorie laden thing out there. Look at it this way – a standard deli wrap uses a 12″ round wrap.  That single wrap is about 375 calories… plain…naked…squat in it!  Say you got a Thai Chicken Wrap with a flour tortilla – you’re looking at about 700 calories of which more than 50% of your calories comes from the wrap itself.  Crazy, right?

Sure I agree with you guys (don’t you love it how I type like you’re sitting right in front of me and we’re having a conversation?) the wrap itself is delicious and of course, everything in moderation but that’s a lot of calories for a wrap!

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps Collage

This recipe actually has an ‘Easter Egg’ recipe hidden within it.  Scroll down and see if you see it or can figure it out.  I’ll wait…

… waiting still

Okay welcome back!  Did you figure it out?  It’s actually my go-to recipe for the absolute BEST pan seared chicken breast ever!  It’s super moist and juicy every single time I make it.  It’s how Grandma and Mom made it and how I’ll make pan seared chicken.  The trick is really simple to be honest:

♥ Make sure your boneless breasts are pounded to an even thickness
♥ Heat the oil at a higher temp, season the chicken and place the chicken in the pan
♥ Immediately reduce the temp to medium and cook for exactly 1 minute
♥ Flip it over, cover it with a tight lid and cook for 10 minutes WITHOUT LIFTING THE LID

What you’re doing here is steam cooking the chicken which allows it to cook evenly and retain the moisture but if you peak you risk drying it out.

♥ After 10 minutes, shut the heat off, move the pan to the side but leave the lid on.  Again don’t peak – you’ve been warned.
♥ After those 10 minutes lift the lid, take the temp and at 165F you have perfect boneless chicken breasts EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

But don’t fret if you didn’t write that down. I’m doing a shoot coming up featuring this so you’ll get a real recipe then.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps2

Now I know some of you – you don’t have time to cook the chicken.  I get it you’re busy.  I’m totally ok with you getting help from a rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken.  Just heat it up and toss it in the sauce.  But I’m telling you, take the time to make it say on a Sunday that way you have enough all week for lunch or dinner!  Trust me on this, it’s that addictive!

Full disclosure I had every intention of putting bamboo shoots in this recipe but I failed for two reasons:

  1.  I forgot about them when I assembled the dish
  2. I was chewing on my first bite when I remembered but was too consumed to put the wrap down to go add them to the next roll

So if you can wait and not be impatient like me, definitely add the bamboo shoots.  Heck even chopped water chestnuts would work too.  And yes you can most certainly add chopped peanuts.

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When I first made these I had made enough to last the week.  To store these, definitely do not assemble them ahead of time.  You don’t want the lettuce to get soggy.  Just keep everything separate (well not the chicken and sauce).  So anyway, I took this to work the next day – a baggie of some lettuce, a small bowl of the chicken and thai sauce plus a small container of julienne-cut veggies. I heated up my chicken and then headed back to my desk.  Okay folks the SMELL of that warm chicken with the nutty warm thai peanut sauce is intoxicating.  I literally got stopped 4 times on my way back to my desk. “Lor, what is that?  It smells amazing!  Did you bring enough for all of us?” LOL

Now what’s even funnier is 2 people followed me back to my desk to see what it was and what I was making.  As I took my plate out (yes I keep a plate with silverware at my desk), I took out the lettuce and veggies.  Their eyes closely watched what I did and when I finished the assembly their eyes were big as silver dollars!  Now I only brought enough to make 3 wraps but you know me I have to share.  So before I could finish my sentence of “grab a chair and join me” I had 2 more chairs rolled up next to me.  LOL

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Being me, I never say anything first when a new person is trying one of my dishes in front of me.  I gauge their reaction – not only verbal but physical/facial.  We’re so expressive even when we’re silent.  The one guy, with mouth stuffed said  “Omg Lori I could kiss you right now this is so amazing!”  well okay that’s translated as he did have a mouthful of food which sounded like “Ommmggwd Wori, I culd kissu wite nowwww”  LOL  And the other guy just sat there eating, eyes closed with a smile on his face.  Oh yeah, I done good.

What’s even funnier is the next day they both showed up at my desk saying “Um Princess, do you kinda sorta have any more of that Thai chicken stuff?  That was awesome!” lol  oh boys, you’re so cute!

So yeah, this is a DEFINITE must-make!  But be prepared to become addicted AND possibly have to share.

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
 
Author:
 
Find more fantabulous recipes, tips and tricks at www.thekitchenwhisperer.net. Also, join our TKW Family on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram
Ingredients
Filling
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 red pepper, julienne cut
  • 1 carrot, julienne cut
Sauce
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce
  • 2 Tbl rice vinegar
  • 4 Tbl sesame oil
  • 2 Tbl light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger, don’t use ginger powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha (Chinese hot sauce)
Additonal
  • Sesame seeds
  • Bib or Butter Lettuce
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, brown sugar and Sriracha.
  2. Pound the chicken to an even thickness (about 1/2”) and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a medium-large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.
  4. Reduce the temp to medium and add in the chicken and cook for exactly 1 minute without flipping.
  5. Flip the chicken, place a tight fitting lid on top and lower the heat to low.
  6. Allow to cook for 10 minutes exactly. DO NOT LIFT THE LID! You want to almost slow steam the chicken.
  7. After 10 minutes, shut the heat off and move the pan off to the side but do not lift the lid. The residual heat from the pan will finish the cooking.
  8. When those 10 minutes are up, lift the lid and take the temp. If its 165F your good to go!
  9. While the chicken is still warm, chop it up to small pieces and toss in the sauce to coat evenly.
  10. In the bottom of the lettuce place a few strips of carrots and pepper.
  11. Next place about a 1/4 cup of the Thai chicken on top and sprinkle on sesame seeds.
  12. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge.

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8 Responses to “Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps”

  • Crabmom says:

    Can you clarify the directions for cooking the chicken? One minute, flip, ten minutes covered, off heat, then ten more minutes? I wasn’t sure how long you meant, “until the time was up.”

    Thx!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Sure thing. What it means is you cook it on one side on the stove for 10 minutes, remove from the heat (still leaving the lid on) and let it continue to heat in the pan for another 10 minutes. The “until the time was up” means after that last 10 minutes off the heat.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

      • Crabmom says:

        Thanks! I figured it would probably be another 10 minutes, but since it did not specify a time to leave it covered off heat, I just wanted to check.

  • Mikey says:

    This seriously looks amazing and definitely something right up my alley! I love how it’s such a simple dish AND you give us ideas on how to make it when we really don’t have time to cook the chicken ourselves.

    I prep my meals every Sunday for the week and this is most definitely going in my meal plan. I absolutely love your recipes and site! Thank you again for an amazing recipe!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Thank you so much Mikey! Yep, this is exactly what I do! Make enough for a week of lunches! Enjoy!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Amelie Moore says:

    This looks and sounds fantastic, like everything you make! I will be trying this out for a dinner this week. Thanks for sharing!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Thank you so much Amelie! I make these weekly now! They are perfect meal to prep on Sunday’s for a week of lunches!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Lizzie says:

    Not so nuts. Not. When I make Ramen (yes, I make Ramen), I ALWAYS put a blob of peanut butter (along with Mirin, Sambal, Ginger and Sesame Oil) in the cooking water. Slam dunk tastes like you spent all day over a hot Ramen Pot. Again, Not.

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