These healthy yet incredibly savory Asian sesame chicken lettuce wraps make the best light and fresh lunch, dinner, or shared appetizer. Enjoy them as a main dish or serve alongside other Asian dishes like noodles, fried rice, and dumplings!Jump to Recipe
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Craving something with savory, juicy, restaurant-style flavor, but still trying to eat healthy in the new year? Then these Asian sesame chicken lettuce wraps are for you! They’re packed with umami yet super light and fresh, and won’t leave you feeling weighed down. Plus, they’re super easy to make at home in just a few simple steps.
Filled with brown rice, carrots, scallions, and stir-fried chicken with a savory sesame glaze, these healthy lettuce wraps are irresistible. You won’t be able to stop eating them! Whether you make them for a light lunch or serve them alongside other Asian dishes for family dinner, these sesame chicken lettuce wraps hit the spot every time.
What Is An Asian Lettuce Wrap?
Asian lettuce wraps are a popular Southeast Asian dish believed to have originated in China. In the US, they’re most famously served at restaurants like P.F. Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory. While there are many variations on lettuce wraps, they’re typically made with a protein and veggie filling.
Our unique take on Asian chicken lettuce wraps was inspired by sesame chicken. Made with butter lettuce, brown rice, carrots, scallions, stir-fried chicken, and a savory sesame glaze, our lettuce wraps are super savory yet light and fresh tasting. Perfect for serving as a lighter meal or shared appetizer for a crowd!
Ingredients For Asian Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Here’s what you’ll need to make sesame chicken for your Asian lettuce wraps:
- Sesame seeds
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
- Hot chili oil
- Powdered ginger
- Minced garlic
- Vegetable oil
Additionally, you’ll need the following ingredients to shape and fill the lettuce wraps:
- Butter lettuce
- Brown rice
- Shredded carrots
Butter lettuce works best for lettuce wraps since it’s fairly mild in flavor and has a soft yet sturdy texture. The leaves also have a natural cup shape that makes them perfect for filling with rice, chicken, and veggies.
How To Make Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Our sesame chicken lettuce wraps are assembled with a few components, using butter lettuce leaves to hold everything together: brown rice, stir-fried chicken, shredded carrots, scallions, and a savory sesame glaze. To make these restaurant style lettuce wraps at home, you simply need to prepare the individual ingredients and serve them on a large platter for DIY assembly at the dinner table.
Here’s how to make lettuce wraps with chicken:
- Prepare the fillings. First, steam the brown rice until fluffy, shred the carrots, and slice the scallions.
- Make the sesame glaze. Next, toast the sesame seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat until golden. In the meantime, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, hot chili oil, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl. Add this to the toasted sesame seeds, then simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Prepare the lettuce. Separate the butter lettuce leaves and thoroughly wash and dry them. Set aside any leaves that are ripped or too small and use for another recipe. If any leaves are too large, gently rip them in half to make two smaller lettuce wraps.
- Stir fry the chicken. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces (approximately half-inch chunks) and cook in vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a wok or frying pan. Add soy sauce and sesame oil for flavor halfway through cooking.
To serve, plate the lettuce, chicken, rice, carrots, and scallions on a large platter with small tongs or serving spoons for each ingredient. Transfer the sesame glaze to a small bowl and serve with a small spoon for drizzling.
How To Assemble Restaurant Style Asian Lettuce Wraps
Wondering how to make lettuce wraps that don’t fall apart? Start by serving these lettuce wraps DIY-assembly style at the dinner table. If you assemble them all ahead of time, the sesame glaze will seep into the lettuce leaves and compromise the structural integrity of the wrap.
When it’s time to assemble the lettuce wraps, here’s how we recommend filling them so that they don’t fall apart:
- Cup a leaf of butter lettuce in your palm to help give it some shape, then fill with about 1 tablespoon of brown rice.
- Next, add some shredded carrots and scallions. Just a few of each brings plenty of flavor to these lettuce wraps! Don’t overdo it, otherwise you won’t have room for the chicken.
- Add a small serving of chicken to the lettuce wrap – about 3 to 5 pieces should fit nicely without overflowing.
- Finally, drizzle the chicken with a spoonful of the sesame glaze and scarf down your lettuce wrap!
The truth is, lettuce wraps are MESSY. Follow our recommendations and they won’t fall apart on you… as long as you don’t try to put them down between bites. (Then they most certainly will fall apart on you).
Like tacos, lettuce wraps are just one of those meals you have to eat quickly unless you want a mess on your plate. Thankfully, lettuce wraps happen to be fairly small and can easily be eaten in just a few bites!
When To Make Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These savory chicken lettuce wraps are great for any number of occasions, but we particularly enjoy serving them as a light and fresh lunch or healthy dinner. They go great with other Asian dishes like noodles, fried rice, and dumplings if you want a more filling meal.
Asian lettuce wraps also make a fun shared appetizer for parties, game days, and potlucks. It’s easy to make a large quantity of all the fillings and serve them on a giant platter for guests to assemble themselves.
Try the recipe below for healthy Asian chicken lettuce wraps and don’t forget to rate, comment, and share if you love it! For more healthy and delicious recipes like this one, subscribe to our email newsletter here.
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Asian Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Wok or large frying pan
Lettuce Wrap Fillings
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup brown rice dry
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 4 scallions sliced
- 1 head butter lettuce separated, washed, and dried
- ½ tsp sesame seeds
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp chili oil
- ½ tsp powdered ginger
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¾ lb chicken breast sliced into half-inch pieces
- 1½ tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- ¾ tsp sesame oil
- First, bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the rice, then cover and turn heat to low. Steam until rice is fluffy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Next, prepare the sesame glaze. In a small saucepan, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat until golden, about 7 to 8 minutes. Give them a shake every few minutes to ensure they are evenly toasted.
- In the meantime, whisk together the brown sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Then stir in the sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili oil, powdered ginger, and minced garlic.
- Once the sesame seeds are toasted, add the sauce to the saucepan and stir to combine. Simmer until slightly thickened, lowering the heat if needed, about 8 to 12 minutes.
- While the sesame glaze simmers, prepare the butter lettuce. Set aside any leaves that are too small or have large holes or rips and use for a different recipe. If there are any large leaves, gently rip them in half to make two smaller lettuce wraps.
- Next, make the stir-fried chicken. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the chicken and stir-fry until partially cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add the soy sauce and sesame oil and stir fry until the chicken is cooked through, another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Finally, plate the lettuce wrap ingredients on a large platter for serving DIY-assembly style at the table. Transfer the sesame glaze to a small bowl and place it in the center of the platter. Then, arrange butter lettuce leaves, brown rice, chicken, scallions, and carrots on the platter.
- To assemble each lettuce wrap: Cup a leaf of butter lettuce in your hand and spoon about 1 tablespoon of brown rice into it. Then, add some shredded carrots and scallions – just a few pieces of each. Finally, add 3 to 5 pieces of chicken and drizzle with sesame glaze.