Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

March 18, 2013 • Main Dishes, Poultry, Recipes, Seasons, Spring, Summer

Weather: 29 degrees with Aurora Borealis in tonight’s forecast
What I’m listening to: Boston, Augustana

We were sort of obsessed with these lettuce wraps, declaring them one of our favorite new dinners. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that we love cashews. Our oldest son thought these were pretty “awesome,” but he’s sort of biased toward anything Asian-inspired, so that was pretty much a given.



A quick note about lettuce. I have found the best lettuce for wraps to be Butter or Bibb. It holds up well to folding and wrapping, is nice and crisp, and the leaves are perfectly shaped like cups. You can usually find it near the other lettuce varieties, often sold live in clear plastic boxes.

This cashew chicken filling is quick and easy and full of flavor – a little spicy, a little sweet, and a perfect amount of crunch from the cashews. It makes an ideal weeknight meal as the weather warms up and you are craving something light and fresh.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A fresh, flavorful weeknight meal, lunch, or appetizer option. Lettuce wraps with spicy-sweet cashew chicken filling. Adapted from [She Wears Many Hats|]

Yields: About 8 lettuce wraps

  • For Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • For Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1 head of Butter or Bibb lettuce, separated into leaves
  • chopped fresh basil or cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Sriracha Sauce, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy, vinegar, brown sugar, ground red pepper, ginger, and sesame oil until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan oven medium-high heat and swirl with canola oil. Add the onions, stirring and cooking about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute. Move the onions and garlic to the upper side of the wok and add the chicken to the pan. Cook the chicken until cooked through and browned. Add the carrots, cashews, and stir fry sauce. Saute for 2 more minutes and remove from heat.

Add a little fresh basil or cilantro, if using. Spoon mixture into lettuce cups and add Sriracha as desired. Enjoy promptly.