Chinese lettuce wraps are easy to make and great as an appetizer, snack, or light dinner. This version is made with ground turkey and a savory sauce made with hoisin and soy sauce with some crunch from water chestnuts and chopped celery. I’m also sharing some variations so you can put a spin on the recipe when you make it.
I’ve had a huge craving for lettuce wraps lately. With the extra day off this weekend, it gave me some time to rest and cook.
Chinese lettuce wraps are really easy to make, with only a few key ingredients.
The filling is usually made with ground beef, ground chicken, pork, or turkey. I had a pack of lean ground turkey that needed to be used, so I made turkey lettuce wraps.
In addition to protein, there’s usually some sort of vegetable contained in the mix, like frozen peas, carrots, etc. I used some finely chopped celery. Water chestnuts are also a common ingredient, which adds a delightful crunch to the filling.
The key to the flavor of the filling is hoisin sauce. If you’re used to PF Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, their version actually doesn’t contain hoisin (at least I didn’t taste any the one time I had them), but most of the other ones I’ve had at Chinese restaurants do.
This dish has a quick prep time and the cook time for the filling is fast, too. Once you make it, you serve it with some large lettuce to wrap the filling up to enjoy. I like the contrast of the cold lettuce leaves with the warm filling. They’re really delicious.
- Ground turkey
- Canned water chestnuts drained and cubed
- Finely chopped celery
- Minced garlic
- Minced ginger
- Finely chopped scallion
- Hoisin sauce
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Vegetable oil – you can also use olive oil, but I prefer a more neutral-flavored oil.
- Large lettuce leaves
For the lettuce, there are several options that work well. You want to use large leaves so green leaf, iceberg lettuce, and romaine lettuce work well to hold the filling. You can also use butter lettuce, but you will want to use at least two leaves for each wrap because it’s more delicate and fall apart easily.
How to Make Lettuce Wraps
Heat a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and ground turkey. Break up the meat while it cooks.
When the turkey is almost done, whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, add it to the pan and stir-fry the mixture until the meat is cooked through and the celery is softened. Add the scallions and stir for another minute.
Take the pan off the heat. You can transfer the filling to a serving bowl and arrange the lettuce leaves around it on a plate. Spoon some filling into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up, and enjoy.
This is a great dish because you add things that you like or switch the ground meat depending on your tastes.
Instead of scallions, you can add sliced green onions. Sauteed chopped mushrooms or bell peppers would also work well.
If you want to add some heat, add some sriracha or red chili sauce to the pan when you add the sauce.
For garnish, you can drizzle a little sesame oil over the filling if you like that flavor. Or add some freshly ground black pepper.
More Lettuce Wrap Recipes
Lettuce wraps are great as an appetizer or snack, but they are also great for meal prep because the filling will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator.
When I am eating lighter, I enjoy them as a meal. I love this Chinese lettuce wraps recipe I’m sharing today, but here are other variations you might like to try:
- Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Honey Garlic Butter Steak Wraps
- Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
- Bang Bang Chicken Wraps
- Tuna Lettuce Wraps
- Taco Lettuce Wraps
Chinese Lettuce Wraps
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 small can water chestnuts drained and chestnuts cubed
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 2 green scallions finely chopped
- 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 12-14 washed lettuce leaves green leaf, iceberg, romaine will all work
- Heat pan/pot on stove and add in oil and ground turkey. Cook until almost completely cooked. Add in remaining ingredients except scallions and lettuce and cook until everything is completely cooked through. Add scallions in at the end and stir for about on more minute before turning off stove. Serve with lettuce.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.