Vietnamese Lettuce Wrap

These lettuce wraps are my go-to meal in summer. Tender lettuce leaves are topped with sweet sticky chicken, crunchy veggies, rice vermicelli, and fresh herbs and dressed with Nuoc Cham a salty, sweet, and spicy Vietnamese dipping sauce.

ender lettuce leaves are topped with sweet sticky chicken, crunchy veggies, rice vermicelli, and fresh herbs and dressed with Nuoc Cham a salty, sweet, and spicy Vietnamese dipping sauce.

One bite of this Vietnamese Chicken lettuce wrap and there is a party of flavors and texture in your mouth. Chicken is marinated in a delicious Asian marinade and cooked until caramelized, It is sticky, sweet, and savory. This fresh and light meal is loaded with crunchy colorful veggies, herbs, and a killer Vietnamese sauce that needs a special mention.

I have taken the inspiration for these wraps from Vietnamese rice paper rolls but these are much more delicious and easy to assemble. It is pretty versatile with your choice of meat and veggies. But one thing that I wouldn’t change is the sauce. This makes for a great refreshing meal in the summer months.

Nuoc Cham ( Vietnamese Dipping Sauce/ Dressing)

Nuoc Cham is salty, spicy, sweet, tangy, and packed with umami. It has fish sauce, lemon juice, red chili, garlic, salt, and sugar. Don’t just go by the watery look of it. Its a terrific-tasting sauce and trust me I can drink a spoonful of it just like that.

The funky-tasting and potent fish sauce is well-balanced with fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt, and sugar. This works as a perfect dressing for the lettuce wraps by adding a punch to the rather boring veggies.

ender lettuce leaves are topped with sweet sticky chicken, crunchy veggies, rice vermicelli, and fresh herbs and dressed with Nuoc Cham a salty, sweet, and spicy Vietnamese dipping sauce.

What You Need

Chicken marination

The marination is full of Asian flavors. It is sweet, savory and caramelizes beautifully on cooking.

  • Boneless chicken thigh
  • Shallots – finely minced.
  • Garlic– Fresh minced garlic
  • Lemongrass – Fresh lemongrass, grate it fine using a microplane.
  • Sauce – Light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Dark soy sauce gives a rich dark color. You can substitute light and dark soy sauce with All-purpose soy sauce if that’s what you have on hand. I wouldn’t skip fish sauce as it’s packed with umami.
  • Sugar – It might look like a lot of sugar but with so many salty sauces it will bring perfect balance.
  • Oil – Any neutral oil will work here.
Ingredients for marinating Vietnamese Chicken

For Vietnamese Dressing

  • Fish Sauce– Primary flavor and saltiness comes from Fish sauce. Though the quantity seems like a lot, once the rest of the ingredients go in the sauce will be just perfect. There is no substitute for fish sauce.
  • Sugar– white crystal sugar.
  • Garlic– This is optional and many recipes don’t call for it. But a little bit of garlic goes a long way.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice– Freshness of lemon juice adds flavor along
  • Birds Eye chilli– With all the salty, sugary, tangy good stuff in the sauce, a bit of kick from chilli is magic. The good thing is, you can adjust the heat to your liking. You can use less spicer version of chillis to control the heat.
Ingredients Vietnamese dressing

For serving

When it comes to filling up the lettuce wraps, the ingredients are fresh and colorful with different textures.

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  • Rice vermicelli– Thin rice vermicelli. Vermicelli makes the wrap more filling and satisfying. I usually add it when I am serving this for lunch. For a lighter version, you can skip it.
  • Veggies– Jullined carrots and cucumber. Pickled daikon is popularly used in Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Herbs– The holy combination of Mint and cilantro does magic here. I have added chopped green onion too.
  • Lettuce – There won’t be any lettuce wrap without lettuce. Butter lettuce also known as Boston or bibb lettuce works best here. The leaves are sturdy enough to hold the filling, it has the right crunch and forms a little cup, making it an ideal size to hold and eat. Look for a whole head of butter lettuce.
Assembling Lettuce wrap. Rice vermicelli, carrots, cucumber, mint, cilantro,

Watch How To Make It

Marinate and Cook Chicken

Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to infuse. Becuase we are using thighs, they don’t need a lot of time to tenderize. At the end of marination, heat a grill pan or regular skillet. Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through. If you are outdoors grilling, even better. Grill on each side for 6-7 minutes and let the chicken cook fully.

Marinate chicken with sauce, lemongrass and other aromatics.
Cooked Vietnamese Chicken for Lettuce wrap

While the chicken is marinating, prep all the veggies and make the sauce. The dressing stays well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Cook rice vermicelli as per package instructions. Usually, I soak them in hot water and rest for 15-20 minutes. Then drain it well and keep.

Assembling

Let the chicken cool completely before assembling the wraps. Keep everything ready. I usually serve all the components separately and make a DIY lettuce wrapper (of course I keep an eye on my daughter, else she would skillfully fill her wraps with everything

Assemble lettuce wrap.
Tender lettuce leaves are topped with sweet sticky chicken, crunchy veggies, rice vermicelli, and fresh herbs and dressed with Nuoc Cham a salty, sweet, and spicy Vietnamese dipping sauce.

Prepping ahead and storing leftovers

This recipe is truly perfect for the summer. With barely any cooking, you can prep everything ahead and assemble it before serving. Makes it a perfect thing to take in potluck or summer BBQs. The dressing stays well for a few days in the refrigerator, so make it ahead. Prep all the veggies and store them in an airtight container. Marinate chicken a day ahead and you can grill/cook before serving.

Storing leftovers –

Leftovers stay well for a couple of days if you have not added the dressing to it. As the dressing has salt and watery, it might spoil tender lettuce leaves if kept longer.

More easy summer recipes

Flavours of Kitchen Logo

Vietnamese Lettuce Wrap

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
These lettuce wraps are made for summer. Buttery lettuce leaves are filled with juicy chicken thighs with Vietnamese flavors, lots of crunchy veggies, fresh aromatic herbs like mint, cilantro and rice vermicelli to make it more filling.
Servings 4 -5 servings

Ingredients
  

For Vietnamese Chicken

  • 1.5 pound chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons oyster sauce sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon grass minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup minced shallots

Nuoc cham (Vietnamese dressing)

  • 1/4-1/3 cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • cup sugar
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 thai red chilli
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Lettuce Wraps

  • 1.5 cup cooked rice noodles
  • ½ cup Carrot jullien
  • 1 Cucumber cut into sticks
  • Cilantro mint, green onion to garnish
  • 2-3 heads Baby Romanian lettuce

Instructions

Marinate and cook chicken

  • Add all the ingredients for chicken marination to chicken and marinate for at least 15-30 minutes.
  • Heat a grilled pan or a cast iron skillet. Place chicken thighs skin side(upside) down. While placing the chicken try to scoop as much marinade as possible onto the chicken. Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4 minutes until chicken is cooked. (ref note -1)

Make dressing

  • Add all the ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Check the seasoning and add more sugar or lemon juice if needed.

Assembling Lettuce wrap

  • While the chicken is marinating, prep the veggies. Cut carrot and cucumber into sticks.
  • Cook rice noodles as per package instructions. I soak noodles in hot water for 15-20 minutes until its tender and then drain.
  • If using butter lettuce from a head, It's a good idea to separate the leaves and clean them well. Roughly chop cilantro leaves.

Assembling

  • Slice chicken thighs. If the thighs are small, slice them and use one whole for one lettuce wrap.
  • Place 2 lettuce leaves layered. Place a large spoonful of rice noodles. Top it with vegetables.
  • Top it with sliced chicken, mint, cilantro, and green onion. Drizzle dressing on top.
  • Serve wraps along with remaining dressing.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 2881mg | Potassium: 650mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 2863IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg
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One Comment

  1. Subhasmita says:

    5 stars
    These Chicken lettuce wrap are going to be a staple through out summer.

5 from 1 vote

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