The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
Profile photo of Ree | The Pioneer Woman

Lettuce Wraps

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

While Ree’s in NYC, she and I wanted to share this blast from the past, which just happens to be the first Tasty Recipe she posted. Cool, crisp lettuce wrapped around flavorful meat and veggies make a great summertime appetizer or light meal. Enjoy!


I’m excited about the new Tasty Kitchen Blog! Lots of fun new things planned.
Among the shiny new features is a weekly step-by-step of a carefully chosen Tasty Kitchen recipe—one that’s been neither “Featured” nor “Recommended” on the main page. One that might be otherwise overlooked. One that has scrumptious potential.
Today’s step-by-step is what looks to be a lovely, straightforward recipe for Lettuce Wraps, submitted by Tasty Kitchen member tfenger. Ahh, Lettuce Wraps—the wonderfully popular (deliciously so) restaurant appetizer item. I’ve loved them for years. Who knew wrapping a meat and veggie mixture in a lettuce leaf could be such a spiritual experience?
Here’s how you make them.

TPW_5029Here are the ingredients you’ll need. Ground turkey, onion, garlic, fresh ginger, red pepper, water chestnuts, chinese cooking wine (substitutions below), soy sauce, oyster sauce, peanut chili/satay sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and iceberg lettuce. And peanut oil if you have it.

TPW_5030This is ground turkey, but you can use ground chicken or beef, too.

TPW_5034First thing you need to do is dice up the onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.

TPW_5047Then mince some fresh ginger. I used my handy microplane zester, and it works wonders! (Oh, and I store my ginger in the freezer so I always have it available since my grocery store doesn’t carry it.)

TPW_5037Drain a can of water chestnuts…

TPW_5038And dice them up.

TPW_5035Now, cut the core out of a head of iceberg lettuce, then rinse the lettuce under cold water.

TPW_5036Turn over the lettuce and let it drain on a towel.

TPW_5042Combine the remaining ingredients—excluding the wine and peanut oil—in a bowl. Note that all of these ingredients were found at my little grocery store in town, in the Asian Foods section, which is about a two-foot span of shelf in the middle of the store. They didn’t have oyster sauce, so I just used Teriyaki sauce…and it was fine! (I think you could easily just add a little more of all the other ingredients to make up for the oyster sauce (or other ingredient) if you can’t find it.

TPW_5046Stir it around with a fork until combined. Lots of flavor in here!

TPW_5048Now, heat a skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add peanut oil and swirl it around the pan.

TPW_5051Add the onions to the pan and toss them around a bit. Cook them for 4 or 5 minutes, or until translucent.

TPW_5053Add the minced ginger and garlic, and stir it around for a minute or two.

TPW_5056Throw in the ground turkey…

TPW_5057And cook it until it’s all browned.

TPW_5058Add the diced red pepper and water chestnuts…

TPW_5059Stir it around and cook it for a few more minutes…

TPW_5060Then dump in the Chinese cooking wine. I didn’t have this, so I just used regular white wine. Cooking sherry would be okay, too. Stir it around until the wine evaporates just a bit.

TPW_5063Next, pour in the yummy sauce!

TPW_5065I will say that I misread the instructions and initially added the cooking wine to the sauce. It turned out to be just fine; this sauce is very forgiving!

TPW_5071Stir it around to combine, and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

And that’s it!

TPW_5073Now separate the lettuce leaves.

TPW_5074And spoon the warm mixture…

TPW_5089Into the cold leaves. I threw in a little cilantro for extra flavor. Yum!

TPW_5085Then you just roll ‘em up into a tight little wrap, lean over your plate (important) and chow down!

They’re a little messy, but wonderfully so. The flavors are really, really nice and balanced, and you can easily add things like diced cashews, red pepper flakes…whatever floats your boat.

VERDICT: I’ll make these again. They’re perfectly delicious, and can be easily adapted and enhanced with whatever extras—or extra spice—suit your taste. Major yum.

Here’s a link to the recipe:

Lettuce Wraps by tfenger

Thanks, tfenger, for sharing!


Comments are closed for this recipe.

Maeghan on 1.26.2010

this sounds amazing. We have tacos on the menu tonight and I think you have inspired me to make lettuce wraps with the tacos instead of using tortillas. Don’t worry these will make the menu board soon!

Tove on 1.26.2010

You are most welcome!!! Thanks for featuring my recipe!

For the vegetarians, mushrooms would be great (as suggested), veggie ground round, or diced firm tofu. If I were to make this with tofu, I think I would marinate it in the sauce before stir frying.

Becky on 1.26.2010

Yum! I was just thinking about PF Chang’s lettuce wraps… these will probaly hit the spot. I am adding this to my recipe box!

OurLittleAshley on 1.26.2010


I love lettuce wraps but am a vegetarian. Any thoughts on substitutes? :)

Profile photo of Taracooks

Taracooks on 1.26.2010

I’m trying these with chicken soon. This is my favorite FULIN’s dish!

Becca on 1.26.2010

Oh, they sound delicious! I think I’ll try a vegetarian version using chopped mushrooms! As a side note: I can find all of the Asian sauces at our local Big Lots, in their gourmet food section (just in case your grocery store doesn’t carry them!)

Profile photo of Carol

Carol on 1.26.2010

Mmmmmm…..looks like lunch to me! They look and sound wonderful….can’t wait to give them a try.


TootSweet on 1.26.2010

Yum! Can’t wait to try these! I have only about half of those sauces though… think it’ll work?

Amanda on 1.26.2010

I’ll have to try these! I currently make a version with chicken and julienned zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, and scallions.

Janet on 1.26.2010

I love this!

It’s so PF Changs but without the expense and better, since we can make them at home and eat them in our PJ’s if we want!

Jenny on 1.26.2010

Was just talking about those great lettuce wraps they used to have at Chili’s, I miss those! These look like a good substitute. I know for those lettuce wraps they used bibb lettuce, but iceberg is probably cheaper and easier to find. Thanks for sharing this, will be trying it soon!

Profile photo of terri

terri on 1.26.2010

I can’t wait to make these at home; such a great recipe. They should be fun to try my own spin with, too!