As a private chef, I try my best to keep the meals as interesting as possible for my clients. One day it'll be Mexican food, the next Italian, and the following Asian. I try not to repeat meals too often but there is one dish that people always request. That meal is, surprise surprise, chicken lettuce wraps. Lucky for me, it's easy to prepare and always comes out delicious. Today, I made a special variation of the original dish by adding a little heat. Ready for some spicy Thai chicken lettuce wraps?
Spicy Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Red curry peanut sauce
- ⅓ cup smooth peanut butter
- ⅔ cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- juice of 1 lime
Spicy chicken lettuce wraps
- 2 tablespoons hoisin
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 lb chicken cut into small chunks
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 Thai chile finely chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 8 ounces water chestnuts thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots thinly sliced
- 5 scallions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- salt and pepper
- 12 lettuce cups iceberg lettuce, romaine, red leaf, or little gem lettuce
- Make red curry peanut sauce by whisking together smooth peanut butter with coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, red curry paste, fish sauce, and juice of 1 lime until smooth. Set aside.
- Mix together hoisin, sriracha, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped chicken and saute until browned. Add garlic, Thai chile if using, ginger, water chestnuts, carrots, and scallions. Stir to combine and saute for 2 minutes or until the carrots have softened.
- Add hoisin sauce mixture and stir to combine. Saute another 1-2 minutes or until everything is well coated in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.
- Serve lettuce wraps with red curry peanut sauce.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
To give these spicy Thai chicken lettuce wraps a Thai spin, I paired the filling with a red curry peanut sauce. This sauce is everything. It's creamy, savory, a little sweet, and a whole lot of tasty. This is also my go-to sauce for spring rolls and chicken satay. To make it, just mix everything together until smooth. If you want some crunch, use crunchy peanut butter instead.
Even though the sauce is full of flavor, you still have to make the chicken just as delicious. Season it with hoisin, sriracha, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Use aromatics like garlic, Thai chili, and ginger and toppings like water chestnuts, carrots, scallions, and peanuts to round out the filling.
This recipe makes a fairly spicy dish; if you want a milder version, omit the Thai chili and use less sriracha.
For substitution ideas, swap the chicken for turkey, ground beef or pork, shrimp, or even tofu. If you can't have peanut butter, use almond butter or cashew butter. You can also skip the fish sauce in the red curry peanut sauce if you're making a vegetarian version of this meal.
The spicy Thai chicken lettuce wraps cook very quickly. It actually takes longer to prepare all of the ingredients than it does to cook it!
Serve the chicken with lettuce wraps and drizzle on a good amount of that red curry peanut sauce. You can use any type of lettuce for these wraps including iceberg, bibb, romaine, and even red leaf lettuce. Make a large batch of these wraps and enjoy them throughout the week!
For more chicken inspiration check out this spicy chicken pilaf!