These Asian chicken lettuce wraps are a healthy and flavorful take on a classic Chinese dish. Crunchy and refreshing, healthy chicken lettuce wraps consist of an aromatic mix of ground meat, succulent shrimp, crisp veggies, and a rich dipping sauce wrapped in lettuce.

Low-calorie, gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30, our lettuce leaf wraps are better than PF Changs! They work great as an appetizer, main dish, or festive party food. They taste similar to my ground chicken stir fry with green beans.

Photo displays lettuce wraps over a white canvas plate

Original recipe published in December 2018. I updated the post with new photos and writing. The recipe remains the same. 🙂

Quick overview

These Asian lettuce wraps are a popular appetizer at banquets, known as 蝦鬆 [Xiā sōng], meaning crunchy, light, and airy bites. The lettuce cups are typically filled with shrimp and small diced crunchy vegetables.

In Taiwan, fried shallots or Chinese fried churros (Youtiao) are popular topping choices in salad wraps for extra crunch.

Today, I’ve simplified the recipe using ingredients you can easily find in Western grocery stores. Inspired by fond memories of family wedding banquets and birthday parties, these wraps are not only tasty but also gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, and Whole30-friendly.

I’ll give you a few options to choose from, so you can find the version of these wraps that suits you best.


These keto chicken lettuce wraps are so light and flavorful, thanks to these simple yet refreshing ingredients. Flavorful aromatics, crunchy vegetables, perfectly seasoned meat, and shrimp are wrapped in crisp lettuce cups with a rich and nutty sauce for a fantastic eating experience!

  • Garlic, shallot, ginger: Finely chopped aromatics for flavor. You can also use yellow onion.
  • Carrots and celery: Diced into small cubes for a nice crunchy element.
  • Canned water chestnuts: Drained and diced. They are a light and refreshing addition to the dish but are optional if you can’t find them.
  • Shrimp: Peeled and deveined. A traditional ingredient in Chinese lettuce wraps, they add balance to the meatiness of the dish. You can omit it if you don’t eat shrimp.
  • Avocado oil: Or any neutral flavored oil.
  • Ground chicken: I recommend a mix of white and dark meat. If you’re not using shrimp, increase the amount of chicken to one pound.
  • Coarse salt and ground white pepper: Or use black pepper.

Lettuce Wrap Sauce: Almond butter (or peanut butter), coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari), hot sauce (optional), apple juice (or water).


  • Lettuce: I use butter lettuce but iceberg would also work.
  • Toppings: Chopped nuts (toasted almonds, cashews, or peanuts); Chopped scallions.

Substitutions and variations

How to make Asian chicken lettuce wraps

These refreshing Whole30 lettuce wraps come together easily with simple prep and minimal cooking. They are very versatile as it’s easy to swap out veggies, sauces, and toppings to suit your preferences. Here are the simple steps to make these wraps:

  1. Prep ingredients: Prepare the aromatics. Chop the veggies into small cubes. Drain the and roughly chop the chestnuts. Dice the shrimp (if using) and mix the sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Saute aromatics: In a well-heated large skillet or wok, add the oil. Saute garlic, shallot, and ginger over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  3. Brown the meat: Season the meat and saute until cooked through and the moisture has almost evaporated. Your skillet should not be wet and watery to avoid diluting the flavor.
  4. Add the vegetables and shrimp: Saute carrots and celery with a pinch of salt for 1 minute. Add chestnuts and shrimp, if using. Saute for another minute.
  5. Mix in the sauce: Stir in 2 tbsp of sauce to coat the stir-fry. Keep the sauce minimal so the texture remains crunchy and not soggy or wet. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  6. Garnish and serve: Spoon some of the chicken mixture into each lettuce cup. Garnish with green onion and nuts. Serve at room temp with the extra sauce on the side.

What type of lettuce for lettuce wraps?

For ground chicken lettuce wraps, selecting the right type of lettuce is key to creating the perfect bite. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Iceberg Lettuce: A staple in Chinese banquets, iceberg lettuce has crisp, sturdy leaves perfect for fillings. Chefs often trim them into cups with kitchen scissors. Opt for the iceberg if you’re seeking authenticity and don’t mind some extra prep.
  • Butterhead Lettuce: This type includes varieties like Boston and Bibb lettuce. Their leaves are softer and slightly sweeter, making them a gentle alternative if you prefer not to trim leaves into cups.
  • Green or Red Leaf Lettuce: These varieties are more pliable and offer a beautiful ruffled look, adding a touch of elegance and a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the fillings.
  • Romaine Lettuce: Longer and sturdier, Romaine can be a good option for wraps if you prefer a crunchier texture.
Lettuce wraps fillings in a plate
Crunchy, Light, and Refreshing!

Make ahead, store, and reheat

  • Make-ahead: It’s all about preparing in advance. Chop all the vegetables and aromatics a day in advance to save on prep time. Store separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Storage and reheat: Pack the meat and separately. Reheat the protein in a microwave on medium for 1 minute. Add to butter lettuce cups, garnish, and serve.

What to serve with chicken lettuce wraps

Our gluten free lettuce wraps with ground chicken are a light yet satisfying meal on their own, but they easily pair well with other dishes. They’re also great as an appetizer or party food! Here are some tasty pairings for a larger meal:

Helpful tips

  • Prep Ahead: Have all your ingredients chopped and ready before you start cooking. This “mise en place” approach ensures a smooth and efficient stir-frying process.
  • Use the Right Pan: Opt for a large, ideally 12-inch or larger, wok or skillet. This size allows ample space for ingredients to cook evenly and quickly, which is crucial for maintaining texture and preventing overcrowding.
  • Control Moisture: Keep the skillet contents as dry as possible. After cooking the chicken, allow the excess moisture to evaporate fully before adding vegetables. This helps in maintaining the crunch and texture of the dish.
  • Heat Management: Use medium-high heat for a quick sauté to keep everything crisp. The key is to cook quickly to preserve the freshness and texture of the vegetables.


What are Asian wraps made of?

Asian wraps typically consist of a lettuce leaf filled with a mixture of proteins like chicken or shrimp, vegetables, and a peanut-based creamy sauce.

Are lettuce wraps healthy for weight loss?

Yes, healthy lettuce wraps can be great for weight loss. They’re low in carbs, high in protein, and contain plenty of fresh vegetables.

What type of lettuce to use for wraps?

Choose sturdy lettuce like an iceberg and consider double wrapping the cups for extra strength and to prevent tearing.

More Chinese takeout at home recipes

If you love these Paleo lettuce wraps, check out some of my other Chinese takeout recipes to try at home.

Close shot of the chicken lettuce wraps with sauce
Drizzle with sweet almond butter sauce.
A close shot of the chicken lettuce wraps
4.98 from 40 votes

Asian chicken lettuce wraps recipe (Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: ChihYu Smith
These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps are made with ground chicken, shrimp, crunchy veggies, and a creamy nut butter sauce. Low carb and healthy!
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  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 large shallot, chopped, or yellow onion
  • 1.5 tbsp chopped ginger, 3 thin slices
  • cup chopped carrots, 1 medium size
  • cup chopped celery
  • 5-6 whole piece canned water chestnuts
  • ½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp Avocado oil
  • ½ lb. ground chicken
  • ¼ tsp coarse salt, or more to taste
  • tsp white pepper, or more to taste

Lettuce Wraps Sauce (Dipping and stir-frying):

Serve and garnish:

  • 1-2 heads Butter lettuce, or a small iceberg lettuce
  • 3 tbsp Toasted almond, cashew nuts, or peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb scallion, chopped



  • Prepare the garlic, shallot, and ginger. Chop the carrots and celery into small cubes. Drain the chestnuts and roughly chop them. If incorporating shrimp, dice them to bite sizes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sauce. Set aside ready to use.

Saute aromatics:

  • In a well-heated large skillet or wok, add the oil. Saute garlic, shallot, and ginger over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Browning the meat:

  • Add ground chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat is cooked through and broken up to fine small bits, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, keep sauteing until the moisture has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Your skillet should not be wet and watery to avoid diluting the flavor.


  • Turn heat up to medium-high, add carrots and celery. Season with a pinch of salt. Saute for 1 minute. Add chestnuts and shrimp, if using. Saute for another 1 minute.


  • Add 2 tbsp sauce and stir-fry to coat it all over, about 10 seconds. Keep the sauce minimal so the texture remains crunchy and not soggy or wet. Taste and adjust to season more salt and pepper, if needed.Turn off the heat.


  • To serve, separate the lettuce into individual leaves and place over a large serving plate. Load each lettuce cup with a few tablespoons of the mixture into the center. Garnish with scallions and nuts. Serve the extra sauce on the side. Serve at room temperature.


  • Keep the texture of this dish fresh, crisp, and light. It shouldn’t be watery or soggy.
  • Make sure all ingredients are ready to go before you start stir-frying—this helps a lot!
  • If you’re using only chicken (no shrimp) and want more meat, stick to no more than 1 lb of ground chicken. For these lettuce wraps, it’s all about the balance of textures. Too much meat might make the wraps less crunchy and more dense.
  • In places like China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, this dish usually includes shrimp, often mixed with a bit of pork mince. If you opt for only shrimp, use up to 1 lb of raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp.
  • If your skillet starts to dry out while stir-frying, just add a tablespoon of oil at a time until it feels right.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 421mg, Potassium: 376mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2495IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Keto chicken lettuce wraps, PF changs lettuce wraps
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @iheartumami.ny on Instagram and hashtag it #iheartumami.
An overhead shot display of the lettuce filled with ingredients