These Thai-Style Chilled Shrimp Lettuce Cups are healthy, easy and delicious! A perfect low-carb, keto dish to whip up for a quick lunch or casual dinner!
With the new year in full swing, it’s all about eating healthy. For me, it’s about eating delicious and in moderation regardless of the time of year!
I’ve been on this HUGE Thai-inspired meals lately and this is probably one of my favorites!
Ingredients needed to make Thai-Style Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
This recipe came out of a love of peanut butter and the fact that I had a boatload of cooked shrimp and veggies leftover from our holiday parties.
I refused to go to the store to buy more food when we had so much in the fridge. So I started pulling out stuff and this recipe just “spoke to me”.
The recipe itself is pretty simple:
- Bibb or Butter lettuce leaves
- julienne veggies – I went with carrots, Persian cucumbers, and red bell peppers
- cooked shrimp
- microgreens/scallions/cilantro *optional
- spicy peanut sauce (as I always have this on hand)
- and chopped peanuts
How to Julienne vegetables
Julienne: Means to cut the food item is cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks about 4 cm in length. Think of shoestring fries or match stick carrots. To do this isn’t hard but it does take practice.
Trim off the edges of the vegetable to lie flat. You want a flat surface on it before cutting to make your cutting easier. Slice the vegetable length way as thin as possible. Stack the slices and cut paper-thin strips length way. Use this method on vegetables hard like zucchini, carrots, celery, peppers, sweet potatoes, white potatoes and so forth. This is not recommended on onions or soft vegetables like tomatoes.
What type of lettuce leaves to use for a wrap?
I prefer Butter or Bibb lettuce. Butter lettuce is a variety of lettuce that includes Bibb and Boston lettuce. It’s known for having loose, round-shaped leaves that are sweet, tender with a mild flavor.
Most often you’ll buy it where it still has the roots attached. This is done to keep the leaves fresh. I’ve also seen it called “living lettuce”.
If you can’t find it, you can also use radicchio or any other soft leave that can be folded/wrapped.
That Spicy Peanut Sauce
Head on over to THIS POST to find out how to make it! It takes just minutes to make and is so flavorful and delicious!
How to Assemble your Thai-Style Shrimp Wrap
Honestly, it’s pretty simple.
- On a plate or board lay down 1-2 leaves. If your leaves are large you can go with one but remember the leaves are delicate. So if you intend on packing these with a boatload of filling, you may want to double up on the leaves.
- In no particular order, you can add your julienne veggies.
- Depending on how big your leaves are, add 2-3 cooked shrimp.
- Top with microgreens, scallions or chopped cilantro *optional.
- Drizzle on some spicy peanut sauce and finish it off with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts.
What if I bought raw shrimp?
No worries, shrimp cooks up super fast! You just have to peel and devein it first.
Peel and Devein raw shrimp
- Start underneath where the legs are attached and peel the shell off. I leave the tail on when I cook it (though you’ll have to remove it when you’re ready to assemble your wraps).
- To devein it, make a shallow slit down the middle of the back of the shrimp to expose the black intensive/vein.
- Use the tip of a paring knife to lift the black vein out. Give it a quick rinse underwater.
How to cook raw shrimp
For this recipe, my shrimp are not seasoned. If you wish to season yours for cooking I would keep it light with maybe a little bit of salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add in the shrimp (carefully) and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until the shrimp is pink.
- Remove immediately and set aside to cool completely before using in this recipe.
Difference between lettuce wrap and lettuce cup
You can call these lettuce wraps or lettuce cups. Honestly, they are the same thing. I’d say the only difference is when it’s a wrap it’s more rolled up burrito-like. Where when it’s a lettuce cup it’s just cupped and slightly folded over.
Make-ahead lettuce wraps/cups
You can assemble the entire thing, minus the peanut sauce and wrap it up in parchment or plastic wrap.
I don’t add the sauce as I don’t want it to get soggy. Instead, I will serve the sauce on the side as a dipping sauce. I may thin out the sauce slightly with a tablespoon of warm water but that’s it. Make-ahead wraps will last 2-3 days when kept chilled and dry.
Other veggies to use in this shrimp lettuce wrap
Go with what you have on hand or what’s on sale in the store!
- Cabbage – green and or red works well
- Pickled red onions
- Daikon or Jicama slices
- Shaved Radishes
- Bean Sprouts
- Water Chesnuts
- what’s your favorite crunchy veggie?
Tips on making this keto/low-carb
For the peanut sauce, follow my instructions on how to make it keto-friendly!
Go with keto-friendly veggies such as the ones listed or try a new one- perhaps Daikon, Jicama or the likePrint
- 2 heads of bibb or butter lettuce leaves, cleaned and dried (about 12–16 leaves)
- 16–20 jumbo cooked shrimp (chilled), deveined and shells removed
- 1 red pepper, seeded and julienne cut
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienne cut
- 1–2 Persian cucumbers, julienne cut
- Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts (I prefer sea salted)
- Microgreens, chopped cilantro or green onions *optional
- Place 1-2 lettuce leaves down on a plate. Add in a few strips of peppers, carrots and cucumbers.
- Add 2-3 shrimp down (this will depend on how big your leaves are. Next, add on a pinch of microgreens/cilantro or green onions.
- Drizzle on some Spicy Peanut Sauce and finish with some chopped peanuts.
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