Chicken Lettuce Wraps smallMy family loves stir-fry and pretty much all things associated with Asian cuisine. As a child, there was a strong Hmong (people group from Laos) influence in our family’s cooking. In 1980 my parents helped sponsor and house some refugees from Laos that were displaced during the war and we started enjoying some of their recipes and food habits that have stuck with me to this day. This recipe was created based on a lot of those principles and flavor patterns. Although the list of ingredients is long, it is pretty quick to put together and so worth it. The recipe will make 10-12 portions, and if you are serving at a party or just want them to look extra pretty, sprinkle some sesame seeds on the top right before serving. If you have any leftovers, my lazy way of eating them is to toss the “filling” over a bed of lettuce and use the sauce as a salad dressing.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Coffee Peanut Sauce

  • Chicken Marinade
  • 1 # boneless skinless chicken – breasts or thighs
  • 1 Tbs. Coconut sugar or Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried ginger powder
  • 2 Tbs. Pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbs. Finely ground Mission Arabica Colombian coffee
  • Wrap Filling
  • 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil - divided
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms – chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and julianned or sliced thin
  • 2 cups sliced baby bok choy or napa cabbage
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, drained and sliced thin
  • 1 large bunch scallions, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce - divided
  • 1 tsp. Fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce (we like the sweet chili sauce, but use whatever you can handle)
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 head of butter lettuce – or any lettuce leaf that makes a nice cup
  • Coffee Peanut Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup, or brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • Optional: 1 Tbs. minced fresh chilies
  1. For the marinade, cut the chicken into ¼ inch strips and then cut the strips into ¼ inch chunks.
  2. Combine all marinade ingredients with chopped chicken. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to overnight
  3. While the chicken is marinating, prep all the rest of the ingredients for the lettuce filling.
  4. Put 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil in large wok or 12 inch skillet over high heat and heat until melted and starting to shimmer. Add marinated chicken to pan and cook 3-5 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally to break pieces apart. Once cooked through, remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add 1 Tablespoon coconut oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and 1 teaspoon soy sauce and cook 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid and are start to brown.
  6. Add cabbage and carrots and cook 2-3 minutes just until softened and starting to brown.
  7. Add water chestnuts, scallions, garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
  8. Add wine, cook 1-2 minutes until wine has reduced.
  9. Add remaining soy sauce, fish sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil and reserved chicken with its juices back to the pan.
  10. Stir together cornstarch and water. Add just enough to center of pan and stir until cooked through, about 1 minute. NOTE: start adding just a bit and see how it thickens up... you may not need the whole amount.
  11. Turn off heat and add cilantro, basil and lime juice. Stir well to combine.
  12. Serve with lettuce leaves and dipping/drizzling sauce (recipe follows)
  13. For the peanut sauce. combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a low boil.
  14. Whisk to combine.
  15. Sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
  16. Note: I also made this adding 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk. Personally, I thought it was too rich for the lettuce wraps, but there were several who liked it that way.

Instructions With Photos

For the marinade, cut the chicken into ¼ inch strips and then cut the strips into ¼ inch chunks.
cutting chicken
Combine all marinade ingredients with chopped chicken. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to overnight.
chicken mixed with spices
While the chicken is marinating, prep all the rest of the ingredients for the lettuce filling.
cut up veggies
Put 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil in large wok or 12 inch skillet over high heat and heat until melted and starting to shimmer. Add marinated chicken to pan and cook 3-5 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally to break pieces apart. Once cooked through, remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.
cooking the chicken
Add 1 Tablespoon coconut oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and 1 teaspoon soy sauce and cook 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid and are start to brown.
Add cabbage and carrots and cook 2-3 minutes just until softened and starting to brown.
cooking veggies with chicken
Add water chestnuts, scallions, garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
adding ginger
Add wine, cook 1-2 minutes until wine has reduced.
Add remaining soy sauce, fish sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil and reserved chicken with its juices back to the pan.
Stir together cornstarch and water. Add just enough to center of pan and stir until cooked through, about 1 minute. NOTE: start adding just a bit and see how it thickens up… you may not need the whole amount.
Turn off heat and add cilantro, basil and lime juice. Stir well to combine.
lettuce wraps
Serve with lettuce leaves and dipping/drizzling sauce (recipe follows)
For the peanut sauce. combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a low boil.
Whisk to combine.
coffee sauce in pan
Sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Note: I also made this adding 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk. Personally, I thought it was too rich for the lettuce wraps, but there were several who liked it that way.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps 2

Carolyn Ackerman is a wife, mother of 3 and food enthusiast. Her passion for cooking and baking began at the age of 6 when she started making bread for her family. Throughout her life she has expanded her love for food and has even authored best selling recipes for their family business. She also loves coffee and is excited to be supporting Mission Arabica through her culinary passions.

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