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Five-Spice Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This recipe for lettuce wraps is a hybrid of many different food loves: chili chicken, Peking duck (the second course), and Vietnamese cool rolls.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: chicken, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, noodles, pasta, rice & grains, poultry, spicy, tacos
Servings: 4 as a main
Author: ness


Five-Spice Chicken

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of fat and cut into 1" pieces)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird chilis (de-seeded and finely minced)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • canola oil for frying

Lettuce Wraps and Garnishes

  • 2 heads of iceberg lettuce
  • 2 stalks green onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 medium carrot (julienned)
  • 1/4 cucumber (cut into matchsticks)
  • Handful fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
  • 2 cups cooked rice noodles (cooked according to package instructions)
  • Gluten-free hoisin sauce
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 to 3 Thai bird chilis (finely sliced (optional))


  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for chicken except canola oil and stir to combine. Cover and marinate in fridge for 30 minutes up to 2 hours.
  • Prepare lettuce wraps. Carefully peel away leaves of lettuce from the head, trying not to tear the leaves, and trim excess ends with kitchen shears. Wash and dry lettuce leaves, and place on platter.
  • In large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat, add one tablespoon canola oil. Add half of the chicken to pan and let cook for 2 minutes or until browned. Flip chicken over and cook other side for another 2 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and place on paper towel lined plate. Wipe any brown bits from pan with a clean paper towel and add pan back to heat. Add one tablespoon canola oil and cook remaining chicken.
  • Assemble wraps. Place about 1 to 2 ounces of rice noodles inside each lettuce wrap, followed by carrots, cucumber, and chicken. Add remaining garnishes and serve.