Paleo Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Healthy Paleo Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps with ground chicken or shrimp, loaded with crunchy vegetables in a sweet savory brown sauce. Healthy chicken lettuce wraps also known as San Choy Bow is the ultimate “just happen to be healthy” food in the world!
The original Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Chinese Lettuce wraps are most often served in banquet occasions as an appetizer. Most often the lettuce cups are filled with shrimp, vegetables, and a very small amount of Chinese fried churros for extra crunch. The flavor and texture are out of this world delicious. It’s crunchy, light, and refreshing.
Paleo Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
To keep the Chinese lettuce cups healthy, light, and refreshing, I removed the fried churro and added more crunchy vegetables like finely chopped carrots, celery, and water chestnuts. I also added a small amount of ground chicken breast so that if people are allergic to shrimp/shellfish ground chicken will be a good alternative.
The Chinese Lettuce Wraps vs. American-Chinese Lettuce Wraps
It’s always interesting to see how a dish is interpreted between the West and East. Most Asian lettuce cups use shrimp more often than chicken and If you copy and paste this word – 蝦鬆 – to google image, you’ll see the ingredients inside the lettuce wraps look quite different from the American-Chinese lettuce wraps.
What to serve with lettuce wraps – Chinese lettuce wraps & American-Chinese lettuce wraps
- Ingredients – minced meat is the focus in American-Chinese lettuce wraps whereas the lettuce wraps/cups in Asia usually focus on highlighting the crunchy texture.
- Texture and balance – Chinese Lettuce Wraps focus on crunchy texture and a balance ratio between meat/seafood and vegetables. The western version tends to use ground meat in a saucy sauce.
Personally I prefer the crunchy and refreshing version. And for today’s Paleo healthy lettuce wraps you can use either chicken or shrimp or both. I adjusted the balance ratio so the texture will be on the crunchy side as opposed to a saucy meat sauce filling.
How to make healthy lettuce wraps
You can use Boston lettuce or iceberg lettuce for Chinese lettuce wraps. Quite often the tip edge of the lettuce leaves are trimmed with a kitchen scissor in order to making a cup shape so that the lettuce can be hold in your palm as a serving tool.
If the cups are too thing, layer two lettuce leaves so that they are easier for you to hold. You can find another lettuce cup example from my Chinese Pepper Pork Lettuce Cups here.
These Paleo Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps are healthy, crunchy, refreshing, and absolutely delicious. They make the best appetizer or light supper and taste way better than any lettuce wraps you can find on the internet. These lettuce cup are gluten-free, grain-free, low carb, Whole30, Keto, and no added sugar. What a great way to add more vegetables to your meal. They are guaranteed everyone’s favorite!
If you give my Paleo Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps a try, be sure to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Also please hit the share button. The more share the more people can see my content. It’ll help me and my blog tremendously. Thanks so much in advance, love you, XO ! :))
Paleo Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Whole30, Keto)
- Avocado oil
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 large shallot, , chopped
- 1.5 tbsp chopped ginger, , ~ 3 thin slices
- ½ lb. ground chicken breast, (see notes)
- ¼ tsp coarse salt
- ⅛ tsp white pepper
- ⅔ cup chopped carrots, , ~ 1 medium size carrot
- ⅔ cup chopped celery
- 4-5 whole water chestnuts, , chopped
- ½ lb. raw shrimp, , peeled and diced + 1 tsp arrowroot powder (optional. see notes)
Sauce (use 1 tbsp a time):
Serve and garnish:
- 3 tbsp lightly toasted pine nuts or chopped cashew nuts
- 1 bulb scallion, , chopped
- 1 whole large iceberg lettuce, , leaves separated and tip edge trimmed (or 2 boston lettuce)
- Prepare all the ingredients set aside and ready to use. If include shrimp, mix well with arrowroot.
- In a well-heated large skillet or wok, add 3 tbsp oil. Saute garlic, shallot, and ginger with a pinch of salt until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add ground chicken. Season with salt and white pepper. Break the meat to fine pieces and saute until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Your skillet should not be wet and watery.
- 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 sauce and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Taste and make seasoning adjustments to your liking.
- Off heat, garnish with pine nuts and scallions. Fill the lettuce cups with stir-fried ingredients. Serve hot or in room temperature.
Love Chinese food? Check out my Chinese Pepper Pork Lettuce Cups, Instant Pot Chinese Chicken Sparerib Soup, Chinese Shrimp and Tomato Stir-Fry, Chinese Sesame Chicken, Paleo Mongolian Beef, and Chinese baked crispy sesame tofu (soy-free)! :))