Sunday, June 3, 2012

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Gluten free

Just recently my friend Michelle asked if I had a recipe for Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  She has been changing her eating habits and wanted the wraps to be gluten free and lower in sugar.  As we know the chicken and vegetables are gluten free.  The problem arises when we add sauces to the dish, and let's face it, the sauce and seasonings give the wraps their distinct flavor.  I played around with this recipe and I think I came up with a real winner here.  You can substitute Xylitol as a sweetener if you want it to be sugar free but I chose to use Agave nectar. You can also use sugar.  We won't be using too much in this recipe since it makes a lot of servings.
I would suggest chopping all of your ingredients ahead of time or before trying to start cooking.  It may appear like a lot of work, but once all of the vegetables & chicken are cut up, this recipe cooks super quickly.

This recipe makes about 14 - 16 very generous servings


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lbs)
  • 8 - 10 Shitake mushrooms (you can substitute white or brown mushrooms)
  • 2 Tbs of cooking sherry (you can substitute cider vinegar but sherry really is the best)
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil (this adds a nice flavor to the filling, try not to substitute)
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 - 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2 - 3 cloves minced or pressed garlic)
  • 1 8oz can water chestnuts (sliced or whole is fine)
  • 2 Tbs Tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 large grated carrot
  • Fresh chopped Cilantro
  • Butter lettuce (or romaine or iceberg if you can't find butter lettuce)
  • Coconut oil (or oil of choice to cook the chicken filling in)

SAUCE: (Reserve half of the sauce for dipping)

  • 1/2 cup Tamari Sauce (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup of chunky peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 Tbs Agave Nectar (substitute 4 Tbs Xylitol sweetener for sugar free version)
  • 1/4 tsp of granulated garlic (you can used fresh minced garlic as well, but use less)
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of Sriracha Hot sauce or 1 Tbs of chili paste



Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.  Be sure to save half of the sauce for dipping, the other half will be poured over the chicken mixture after it is cooked.  You can add more or less of the Sriracha or chili paste to suit your heat level.


I like the chicken to be finely chopped like many of the restaurants I have Asian wraps at.  You can either take the time to finely chop/dice the chicken breast or, if you are like me, just cut them into large chunks and toss them into your food processor.  Use the pulse button until the chicken is coarsely ground.  We don't want it ground too finely.

Chop the mushrooms into a small dice.
Drain & Chop the water chestnuts into a small dice
Coarsely Grate the large carrot and set aside
Finely slice the green onions.

Now you are set to go!


  • In a large bowl add ground chicken, mushrooms, green onions, water chestnuts, grated ginger, cooking sherry, sesame oil, garlic, Tamari sauce, salt & pepper.
  • mix well to incorporate all of the ingredients.  If it seems a bit dry you can add a tiny bit of water, but use sparingly.
  • Heat about 1 heaping Tbs coconut oil in a large skillet.  I personally love the coconut oil with this recipe.  It complements all of the fresh ingredients and gives a nice richness to the dish.  You can use any oil you like.  Some people like to use sesame oil to cook with.  I find it a bit too strong for my taste since it is already in the filling and sauce.
  • To start, just cook 1/2 of the chicken mixture in the pan.  This is to keep it from being overcrowded and steaming.  Let it saute in the oil for a few minutes before turning.  This will help it to brown a bit.  It cooks very quickly.   Continue to saute until cooked through.  Remove to a bowl.
  • Heat another heaping Tbs of coconut oil and add the remaining chicken mixture.
  • Cook as before.
  • Return the previous chicken mixture to the pan.
  • Add 1/2 of the sauce you made earlier
  • Stir to incorporate and heat through
  • Place a few big spoonfuls of the filling on a lettuce leaf.
  • Garnish with grated carrot & freshly chopped cilantro.
  • Pour a tiny bit of the reserved sauce on top or serve the sauce on the side in a dipping bowl!

Mmm, so good!  I also have a Vegetarian version of this recipe here: