These Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps bring the heat to mealtime

Lettuce wraps are a Southeast Asian dish made up of spicy ground meat, garlic and spices that are eaten in lettuce leaves. This dish is especially popular in Thailand and is served more as a ground meat salad called Larb.

This easy-to-make dish can be made using ground beef, pork or chicken. I like to serve it for a low-carb lunch or as a fun hearty appetizer. 

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1 head butter or bib lettuce leaves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cloves minced garlic

1/3 cup chopped green onion bottoms

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound ground chicken

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon hot sauce or Sriracha

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

½ cup julienned carrots

1/3 cup chopped green onion tops

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and rinse the lettuce leaves under cold water. Place the lettuce leaves onto the lined baking sheet and pat them dry. Place them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  2. In a heavy nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and add in the garlic, green onion bottoms, grated ginger and red pepper flakes. Saute for 10 seconds.
  3. Add in the ground chicken and salt. Continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, hot sauce and light brown sugar. Pour the mixture into the chicken once it’s cooked and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  5. Fold in the julienned carrots and green onion tops, and pour the spicy chicken into a serving dish. Sprinkle the chicken with toasted sesame seeds and serve with the lettuce leaves and Creamy Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe follows) for dipping or drizzling on top.

This article was originally published in the February 2024 issue of 225 magazine.