Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Deep Fried Green Beans

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 Chicken lettuce wraps are sort of Taco Tuesday-ish, aren't they? 

Chicken Lettuce Wraps on the Big Green Egg Grill

These chicken lettuce wraps have that big pop of fresh ginger, a moderate sting of spicy heat, and a bit of crunchy texture. 

Lettuce Talk About Wraps

So which lettuce works best for lettuce wraps? We have two favorites at our house.

  • Iceberg lettuce - Good old, plain iceberg lettuce is the traditional wrap of choice for lettuce wraps at PF Changs. They have a convenient shape and add crispness. Cut the wedges to exclude any big sections of stalk.
  • Boston or bibb lettuce - Butter lettuce varieties have an appropriate size and shape for lettuce wraps. They are tender and have more flavor than iceberg lettuce. We like to buy the "living" lettuce when we can for the freshest wraps.

What is the best lettuce to use for chicken lettuce wraps? We like Iceburg lettuce or a butter lettuce.
Iceberg is on the left, Boston on the right.

Ground vs Minced Chicken

Ground chicken is a quick and easy shortcut for lettuce wraps but we think the trade-off in texture and taste isn't worth the time savings. The ground chicken gets mushy. We prefer to cut up 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves and then finely chop or mince that. 

Finely chopped chicken produces a better taste and texture compared to ground chicken but either will work.
Two to three chicken breast halves will yield about 1 pound, depending on the size.

How Hot Do You Like It?

We like ours with a little more kick. 
  • Mild - Change the recipe to use 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, 1/2 tablespoon of chili garlic sauce, and substitute 1/4 cup of red bell pepper for the Fresno chile.
  • Medium - Use 1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • Hot - use 2 teaspoons fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Published 08/31/2021

Stir fried chicken, ginger, garlic, and chiles in a savory sauce, wrapped with Jasmine rice and fried noodles in leafy lettuce.


  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (we add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil for flavor)
  • 1 pound chicken breast, finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Fresno chile, seeded and finely diced (substitute red jalapeno)
  • 1 ounce chicken stock
  • 1 ounce soy sauce
  • 1 ounce brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • slurry made from 1 tablespoon each of corn starch and cold water
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, leaves removed, rinsed, and kept chilled
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, cook according to directions
  • 1 cup deep fried rice noodles


  1. Preheat the wok. Preheat the wok over high heat for 5 minutes. When you add the oil, it should quickly start to lightly smoke.
  2. Stir fry the meat. Don't just dump the cold meat into the wok or it will drop the temps. Add it in batches around the wok, finishing in the center. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until mostly cooked through.
  3. Add the aromatics. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and chile, stir-frying for another minute.
  4. Create the sauce. Stir in the stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, and chili garlic sauce. Allow to stir fry 1-2 minutes. Stir in the slurry and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  5. Finish the stir-fry. Remove from heat and fold in the water chestnut and green onion.
  6. Serve with rice, rice noodles, and leaves of lettuce.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Total time: 30 mins.

Tags: stir-fry, wok

I like to use a premium charcoal when stir frying, such as Rockwood.
I like to use a premium charcoal when stir-frying on the kamado grill. Some of my preferred premium brands are Rockwood, Jealous Devil, and Fogo. 

Mise en place
Stir frying happens fast, so have everything ready to wok and roll. 

My set up was a 16 inch carbon steel wok and a spider rig.
My set up was simple. I used one of our large Big Green Eggs with a 16" carbon steel wok, a spider rig for the stand, and a Kick Ash Basket full of hot coals. The table is a Challenger Designs Torch.

If you wok often, I highly recommend getting a wok spatula which has a rounded tip. A flat edge spatula will only scrape at the corners while the rounded tip makes full contact with the round wok. Our local Asian market sells these for a couple of bucks.

Cooking on a wok on the Big Green Egg
You almost can't cook too hot on a wok, the technique is designed for super hot and fast cooking.

For our side, we made deep fried green beans. Just dry off some trimmed green beans, dip them in tempura batter and deep fry them until the float and are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. We served it with the "Golden Shrimp Sauce" that tepanyaki restaurants serve.

We like to add jasmine rice in our lettuce wraps to balance it out and to extend the amount of protein. If you're doing just the chicken, this would be enough for 2 people but with rice, this easily feeds four folks.

Scenic City Eggfest

Early Bird Tickets are now on sale for the Scenic City Eggfest. This Egg-ceptional food festival is at Collegedale Commons near Chattanooga on October 16th. 

In addition to excellent food and event-pricing for Big Green Eggs, they have a line up of grilling class demos that you won't want to miss.