Best Thai Lettuce Wraps

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Get ready for an exhilarating culinary adventure because these Thai Lettuce Wraps are truly unparalleled! Bursting with aromatic chilies, garlic, and a medley of herbs, each bite is elevated with a refreshing squeeze of lime juice and a drizzle of classic peanut sauce. The perfect balance of sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy flavors creates an irresistibly addictive taste sensation that will leave you craving more.

A vibrant dish of Thai Lettuce Wraps filled with meat, topped with spiralized carrots, radishes, nuts, and a drizzle of peanut sauce, served on a white plate with condiments on the side.

Our Thai Lettuce Wraps draw inspiration from Larb, a vibrant Southeast Asian minced meat salad popular in Thailand and Laos. Traditionally crafted with pork, fish sauce, aromatic chilies, and an array of fresh herbs and seasonings, Larb is renowned for its bright and bold flavors. While it’s commonly enjoyed over a bed of lettuce or rice, we’ve reimagined it as lettuce wraps, creating the ideal serving vessel to encapsulate its delicious essence.

If you’ve had Cheesecake Factory Thai Lettuce Wraps then you will LOVE our Best Thai Lettuce Wraps!

Thai cuisine holds a special place in our hearts, not just for its incredible flavors, but also for its abundance of fresh ingredients. When we claim these Thai Lettuce Wraps are the best, we mean it—they deliver on both flavor and freshness. Plus, they’re quick and effortless to prepare! You can walk in the door at six o’clock and be indulging by seven, including whipping up the Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe. Additionally, we’re excited to share our recipe for Prik nam pla (chilies and fish sauce พริกน้ำปลา), a traditional Thai sauce that adds a burst of authentic flavor to any dish!

A vibrant dish of Thai Lettuce Wraps filled with meat, topped with spiralized carrots, radishes, nuts, and a drizzle of peanut sauce, served on a white plate with condiments on the side.
  1. In a large glass bowl mix the pork, ground beef, garlic, shallots, Thai chili pepper, fish sauce, chili sauce, Siracha, and light brown sugar. Mix gently by hand or with a wooden spoon until combined.
  2. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch Oven over high heat, add the vegetable oil and reheat for 30 seconds. Add the pork and beef mixture and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes then stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and basil. 

How to Make Thai Peanut Sauce

Start by preparing the Thai Peanut Sauce, effortlessly achieved by blending in the food processor. While it can also be mixed by hand, we recommend the food processor for a quicker result!

Ingredients for Making Thai Peanut Sauce

  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy 
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped *
  • 1 large knob ginger root, grated*
  • 2-4 tablespoons warm water
*We recommend blitzing all ingredients in the food processor to speed up the prep time.  
  1. Combine all ingredients except water into the food processor. Blitz or whisk until fully combined.
  2. Then add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired texture is reached. We typically use 2 tablespoons for a sauce and up to 4 Tablespoons if making it for dressing. That’s right now you have a new dressing recipe too!
A vibrant dish of Thai Lettuce Wraps filled with meat, topped with spiralized carrots, radishes, nuts, and a drizzle of peanut sauce, served on a white plate with condiments on the side.

Is Pork Essential for Making Larb?

  • No. Larb is most often made with duck, chicken, beef, pork, fish or mushrooms, flavored with fish sauce, lime juice, Padaek (fish sauce made with freshwater fish), and fresh herbs. Minced and mixed with chili, mint and assorted vegetables, sometimes too.
  • Traditional Larb also has roughly ground toasted rice (Khao khoya) is an important component of the dish. It’s served at room temperature and usually with a side of fresh raw veg and sticky rice.

Please note that traditional Larb can also be served sushi-style! Our recipe is not based on making raw Larb but rather the cooked version.  

Exploring Meat Options for Larb

  • Ground chicken, beef, or turkey.
  • Thinly sliced turkey, chicken, beef, or duck.
  • Minced meat of your choosing also works well, chicken, beef, duck, and turkey are all options.
  • Mushrooms. When you want that meaty taste without the meat. Then mushrooms are the way to go. Their flavor is rich, earthy, and meaty, especially Cremini or Portobello mushrooms. Healthy and filling and can replace meat in nearly any recipe!
A close-up image of a lettuce wrap filled with Larb, sliced radishes, prik nam pla, and topped with a drizzle of peanut sauce and crispy lettuce shreds.

Best Lettuce Varieties for Wraps

Pictured here we used hydroponically grown butter lettuce. Use any of these lettuce varieties for excellent results.

  1. Butter Lettuce
  2. Romaine Lettuce
  3. Iceberg Lettuce
  4. Green Leaf Lettuce
  5. Red Leaf Lettuce

Guidelines for Crafting Perfect Thai Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is highly versatile, allowing for adaptation based on available ingredients.

  • Utilize vegetables from your fridge, like zucchini, squash, celery, bok choy, and bean sprouts.
  • Sauté the vegetables until they are tender before introducing the meat, then complete the cooking process.
  • If incorporating a significant amount of extra vegetables, consider doubling the sauce ingredients when combining with the larb mixture.
  • Avoid overcooking the meat; once the pink color has vanished, remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. This step ensures the larb retains its juiciness and delectable flavor.
A vibrant dish of Thai Lettuce Wraps filled with meat, topped with spiralized carrots, radishes, nuts, and a drizzle of peanut sauce, served on a white plate with condiments on the side.

Are Special Ingredients Required for Crafting Thai Lettuce Wraps?

  • Fish Sauce: Typically located in the Asian or ethnic food section of your local grocery store, fish sauce adds a salty and savory dimension essential for authentic flavor. Don’t be deterred by the name; it’s a key ingredient. However, if you or anyone in your family has a fish allergy, avoid using it. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime.

  • Sriracha Sauce: Named after the coastal city of Si Racha in Thailand, Sriracha sauce can be found in the Asian foods aisle of most grocery stores. Only a teaspoon is added here, so there’s no need to worry about it being overly spicy.

  • Thai Chilies: Available in many grocery stores, Thai chilies are about 1-inch long and come in red or green varieties. If you can’t find them, you can substitute 2 Serrano peppers, which have a milder heat level.

Where do I Find Fish Sauce?

You can typically find fish sauce in the Asian section of most supermarkets, usually near the soy sauce. Additionally, it’s available at Asian, Thai, and Vietnamese markets.

How to Assemble Thai Lettuce Wraps

Wash and pat dry lettuce and add the cooked Larb, then top with fresh veg of our choice, peanut sauce and Prik nam pla if using.

What is Prik Nam Pla?

In Thai cuisine, Prik Nam Pla, which translates to “chili fish sauce” in English, is a fundamental element. This uncomplicated yet adaptable condiment has deep roots in Thai culinary heritage. It commonly comprises thinly sliced bird’s eye chili peppers immersed in fish sauce, occasionally enhanced with garlic, lime juice, or sugar to elevate its flavor profile.

Prik Nam Pla brings both heat and umami depth to a range of Thai dishes, enriching their flavor profiles. Its roots can be traced to ancient Thai culinary practices, where fishermen crafted it as a zesty dipping sauce for their just-caught seafood. Evolving into a cherished accompaniment over the years, it’s appreciated for its bold and fragrant qualities. Today, Prik Nam Pla maintains its revered status as a vital component in Thai cuisine, highlighting the intricate interplay of flavors that characterize this dynamic culinary heritage.

A mere touch of this sauce and a few peppers elevate each bite to an explosion of flavors, truly enhancing the dish! It’s a common sight on tables throughout Thailand, employed much like how we utilize salt and pepper.

How to Make Prik Nam Pla

Prik Nam Pla (Thai chili and fish sauce พริกน้ำปลา): It’s incredibly easy yet delicious! Here’s how to make it.

  1. Slice or dice about 5 Thai chilies.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sliced chilies with approximately 3 tablespoons of fish sauce.
  3. Squeeze a generous amount of lime juice into the bowl.
  4. Mix the ingredients well, ensuring the flavors are thoroughly combined.
  5. Allow the mixture to sit and marry while preparing the remaining components of your meal.
  6. Note: While lime juice is optional, it adds a refreshing acidity that enhances the overall taste of the dish. Adjust according to personal preference.
Prik nam pla (chilies and fish sauce) for Thai Chicken lettuce Wraps.

You could also top with some Sweet Chili Sauce (an ingredient in the Tahi Peanut Sauce). Sweet chili sauce, known as Nam Chim Kai in Thailand, is a popular chili sauce condiment in Thai, Afghan, Malaysian, and Western cuisine. Commonly made with red chile peppers, rice wine vinegar, sometimes garlic, sometimes fish sauce, and a sweetening ingredient such as fruit, sugar or honey.

Topping Ideas for Thai Lettuce Wraps

  1. Prik Nam Pla (quick recipe noted above)
  2. Sliced cucumbers
  3. Shredded carrots
  4. Bean sprouts
  5. Thinly sliced bell peppers
  6. Chopped cilantro
  7. Sliced green onions
  8. Diced tomatoes
  9. Crushed peanuts
  10. Sliced avocado

Safely Storing Larb: Tips for Refrigeration and Longevity

  • Transfer the larb into an airtight container.
  • Ensure the container is sealed tightly to prevent air exposure.
  • Store the larb in the refrigerator promptly after it has cooled down to room temperature.
  • Place the container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, typically the back.
  • Larb can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • Before consuming reheated larb, ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure safety.

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How to Make Thai Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps on a white Wedgwood plate.

Best Thai Lettuce Wraps

Buckle your seatbelt these really are the Best Thai Lettuce Wraps! Seasoned with plenty of fragrant chilies, garlic, herbs and finished with a squeeze of fresh lime and classic peanut sauce. The combination of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy flavors makes it highly addictive.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Equipment

  • heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch Oven
  • food processor (optional but makes the prep for the peanut sauce much faster)

Ingredients

Thai Peanut Sauce

  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large knob of ginger, grated
  • 1 handful cilantro, fresh + washed + patted dry
  • 2-4 Tablespoons water, for thinning

Best Thai Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 pound pork, ground
  • 1 pound hamburger, ground
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed + peeled + finely diced
  • 2 shallots, topped + peeled + finely chopped
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, diced, sub 2 serrano peppers
  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce, add more to up the flavor ante
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large ripe lime, juiced (plus 1 extra lime cut into wedges for serving)
  • ½ cup cilantro, washed + patted dry + chopped
  • ½ cup basil washed + patted dry + chopped
  • Kosher sea salt & Freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

Thai Peanut Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients except water. Blitz in the food processor or whisk until fully combined.
    Ingredients for Peanut Sauce Recipe in a food processor.
  • Then add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired texture is reached. We typically use 2 tablespoons for a sauce and up to 4 Tablespoons if making it for dressing.
    Peanut Sauce in a food processor for topping Thai Lettuce Wraps with Larb.

Best Thai Lettuce Wraps

  • In a large glass bowl mix the pork, hamburger, garlic, shallots, Thai chili pepper, fish sauce, chili sauce, Siracha, and light brown sugar. Mix gently by hand or with a wooden spoon until combined.
    A bowl of raw minced meat mixed with chopped onions, a dollop of Sriracha sauce, and a spoonful of mustard, ready for cooking Larb for Thai Lettuce Wraps.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch Oven over high heat, add the vegetable oil and reheat for 30 seconds. Add the pork and beef mixture and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes then stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and basil.
    Raw ground beef and pork mixed with chopped onions and green herbs cooking in a skillet, close-up view. For making Larb for Thai Lettuce Wraps.
  • Pile into lettuce and top with peanut Sauce and desired fresh veg toppings and serve with lime wedges.
    Asian Lettuce Wraps on a white Wedgwood plate.

Notes

  • Prep time is approximate. 
  • Speed up the time making the Peanut Sauce by using a food processor.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator. 
  • Freeze Larb in an airtight container up to 3 months. 
  • Defrost in the fridge overnight and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of our Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, a tantalizing fusion of aromatic spices, tender chicken, and crisp lettuce. These wraps are a delightful balance of sweet, savory, and spicy, inspired by the bold culinary traditions of Thailand.

Savor the tantalizing blend of flavors in our Blackened Chicken with Mango Salsa. Succulent, spice-rubbed chicken breasts, seared to perfection, are complemented by a vibrant mango salsa bursting with tropical sweetness and zesty freshness.

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Hey there, fellow food enthusiast! Welcome to Mean Green Chef, where every dish tells a story and every recipe is a labor of love. I’m thrilled to share a bit about myself and the journey that led me here, stirring pots and sprinkling spices for over three decades!

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    1. These wraps look so delicious! I love all the topping ideas and also all the different meat substitutes. 🙂

      1. Thanks so much, Erika! We love versatility in recipes and Thai is just the ticket for getting creative in the kitchen 🙂

    2. Come to momma- with a few tweaks on the sauce ingredients I can make this grain free! SO fresh and amazing flavors.

      1. Lol, Angela excited to see how your grain-free version turns out! Thanks so much for visiting 🙂

    3. Another recipe that I love! Thai food is my favourite and this recipe is no exception. I love the fact that you can play around with the ingredients and it caters to everyone with dietary concerns.

      1. Thanks so much, Jane! Thai food is def one of my favorites too and especially the fact that you can interchange so many ingredients 🙂

    4. This sounds amazing and I am getting hungry reading this post. Pinning for later because I will need to head to the grocery store now, lol! Going to be making these, cannot wait!

      1. Lol, be sure to share your results with us, Christy! 🙂

    5. I love Thai food! And lettuce wraps are automatically healthy, so this is something I could eat a bunch of!

      1. Thanks for visiting, Raquel! 🙂

    6. I’m always on the lookout for a peanut sauce recipe that is as good as what I’ve had in really good Thai restaurants, and this looks terrific. I appreciate the tip about using the food processor and adding the water last to control the consistency.

      1. This is a great Peanut Thai Sauce, Beth! I know you’ll love it 🙂

    7. I love Thai food and these Thai lettuce wraps look so good! The only ingredient I might not be able to find here in Italy is the fish sauce. But ?ll look out or it!

      1. Thanks so much! It’s worth ordering on Amazon if you aren’t able to find it locally, Jacqueline. 🙂

    8. We quite often make our lettuce wraps with chicken mince, which I think would work perfect y with your recipe to. I’m going to keep your recipe in mind for the next time we crave lettuce wraps (which is often in summer).

      1. Yes, larb can be made with any of the above-mentioned ingredients, make it your own Harriet! 🙂

    9. I love lettuce wraps and my kids love them too. Thanks for the recipe

      1. Thanks so much for visiting, Anindya! We love them too especially how versatile they are 🙂

    10. Chilli, tangy sauce sounds so good. Love the wrap 😀

      1. Thanks, Lisa! 🙂

    11. Looks delicious and also very healthy!

      1. Thanks, Ai! 🙂

    12. Nice recipe, will try making it vegetarian and try this recipe 🙂

      1. Thank you, Foodopi! 🙂

    13. Wow, Yum!! Definitely need to try this out soon!

      1. Thank you, F&F!

    14. Great recipe & I love the fact that you’ve listed all the ways to customize this… from different meats to types of lettuce to use to different toppings!

      1. Thanks, so much Simone!!

    15. OMG I want to gobble these thai lettuce wraps up!! They look so good and I love anything with peanut sauce in it. Delicious!!

      1. Thank you, Sonila! These are so tasty and larb really creates the best wraps ever! 🙂

    16. I LOVE larb! It’s one of my fav Thai dishes. We usually serve it with fresh vegetables and I like to use cabbage to wrap it when I eat it. I’m definitely gonna love this recipe!

      1. Larb is AMAZING, Nart! We will def try using cabbage as a wrap next go-round, thanks so much! 🙂

    17. Shari L Eckstrom says:

      I am a huge fan of lettuce wraps to help keep my carbs low. The sweet chili sauce and peanut butter sounds like a great combination for the sauce. I’m looking forward to trying it.

      1. Thanks, Shari, yep this is easily a low carb dinner! 🙂

    18. I love Lettuce wraps and this one with the peanut sauce looks awesome. Really inviting wraps to entertain the crowd.

      1. I think peanut sauce makes everything better, Lathyia!! Thanks so much 🙂

    19. I love lettuce wraps and these pictures are making my mouth water, I’m going to have to give these a try!

      1. Thanks so much, Rachel! They’re easy to make and super delish 🙂

    5 from 9 votes

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