Sweet & Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps – In 30 Minutes or Less

Jan 6, 2020 | Chicken and Poultry, Quick Meals, Recipes

Good morning everyone! Happy Monday, happy new year, and happy to be back! Today, in honour of the new year, and the fact that many of you are probably watching what you eat for the next few weeks, I thought I would make a recipe that is a little lighter than usual. And so today, we are going to make Sweet and Spicy Chicken lettuce wraps in 30 minutes or less.

Some of you more keen-eyed readers may remember that way back in June we made ginger beef lettuce wraps. The basic idea is the same; make a filling and wrap it in lettuce. Basically, I just want to show you that lettuce wraps don’t have to be one thing. They can be comprised of a multitude of ingredients and flavours. Today we are using ground chicken, last time it was beef, next time it might be pork or fish, or tofu! Who knows?

Alright, that’s more than enough of a set-up Let’s take a look at how to make…

12:30 pm – Rice

First things first, we need something to serve with the lettuce wraps. I thought sticky rice was a logical choice. You, of course, can serve whatever you would like with your lettuce wraps. Cauliflower rice would be a good option if you are currently anti-carb. Either way, the first thing I did was get the rice going.

I measured out 1 cup of sticky (or sushi) rice, 1 1/2 cups of water, and put it on the stove on high. Follow the direction on the package your rice comes in as they may be slightly different.

The rice, like most rice, starts on high until it comes to a boil, then it is covered and left to simmer on low heat. This particular rice only needs to simmer for 12 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes. This short cooking time makes it perfect for these quick 30 minute meals.

Along with getting the rice going I also turned a wok onto medium-high heat. You don’t have to use a wok for this, but I found it worked really well. Wok or not, your pan should be on and pre-heating.

12:32 – Getting Started

Now that the rice is on the stove and coming up to the boil, it’s time to get the other ingredients prepped. Up first is half an onion which should be diced nice and fine, minced even.

12:34 pm – Take the chicken for a wok

In the time it took to dice the onions, the wok has sufficiently heated, and the rice has started to boil. I added 2 tbsp of sesame oil to the wok along with 1 lb of ground chicken. Next, I gave the rice a little stir, put a lid on it, turned the heat down to low, and set a timer for 12 minutes.

The now diced white onion is not the only vegetables going in this dish, it isn’t even the only onion. That means, that it is time to get back to some knife work. I took 4 green onions, cut them in half and set the top half aside for later. I finely diced the bottom halves and added them to the white onions.

12:37 – More Knife Work

Once the green onions were chopped I took a second and gave the chicken a stir. Then I got right to work dicing half a red bell pepper.

12:39 pm – Garlic

With the bell pepper chopped I gave the chicken another stir and chopped up 3 cloves of garlic.

12:41 pm – Onions in

Okay, the chicken is nice and browned and the veg is all chopped and ready to go, let’s start cooking. First up, I added the white onion, green onion bottoms, and the garlic to the chicken and cooked for about a minute.

12:42 pm: Sweet pepper, hot pepper.

Next up, I added in the red bell pepper and 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper (chilli ) flakes.

12:43 pm Ginger and five-spice

One minute after the peppers went in I added in 2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice and 1 tbsp grated ginger. I cooked all of these ingredients together for about three minutes.

12:46 pm- Liquids

Okay, time to add in the liquids. 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp rice vinegar (or white vinegar) and 3 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free tamari).

I don’t have any pictures because this part happened pretty quick.

12:47 pm – Seasoning

At this point, I gave the mixture a taste and noticed it was missing three things. It needed a bit of salt, a bit more vinegar, and a bit more honey. So, I added about 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tsp vinegar.

It was right around now that the timer for the rice went off so I took it off the heat.

12:48 pm – Finishing touches

To finish the chicken I add in 1 tbsp sesame seeds and I chopped the tops of the green onions and added them in. I then took the wok off the heat.

12:49 pm – Wash lettuce

This is bibb lettuce also known as Boston Bibb or butter lettuce. It is my lettuce of choice for these types of things though iceberg or romaine would work too. The reason I like this particular lettuce is that it is very tender, and has a really great flavour. If you can find it, definitely try it.

One special thing about bibb lettuce is that it comes with the roots still attached. The reason for this is the lettuce dies very quickly so, leaving the roots on keeps the lettuce alive in the store.

To clean this lettuce simply cut the root off and discard. Rinse the leaves under slowly running water then gently pat them dry with a paper towel.

12:53 pm – Rice Done

Chicken, done. Lettuce, done. And now, rice, done. Give the rice a stir and start plating.

12:55 pm – Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Finally, put the lettuce down, put the chicken on top of it taco-style. Serve the rice on the side or right in the lettuce wrap with the chicken.


If you are looking for something a little light and really quick to kick your new year’s diet into high gear, this may just be it. Give it a shot.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A new year a new you! What better way to kick off that new years diet than with some deliciously sweet and spicy chicken lettuce wraps?
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: 30 minute meals, 30 Minutes or less, Asian Food, Butter Chicken, Chicken, chicken recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/2 lg White Onion, Minced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Minced
  • 4 ea Green Onions whites and greens separate and diced
  • 1 tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce or GF Tamari
  • 2 tsp Rice Vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce aka Boston Bibb Lettuce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds


  • Heat a wok over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sesame oil along with the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the chicken is browned and cooked through add in the onion, green onion (whites), and the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the onions start to soften.
  • Next up add in the red bell pepper and red chilli flakes, cook for 1 minute then add in the Chinese 5 spice.
  • cook the spices for 1-2 minutes before adding in 1/4 cup of water along with the honey, soy sauce, and vinegar.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add in the sesame seeds and the tops (greens) of the green onions.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Wash and pat dry the lettuce and serve with sticky rice.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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