Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on January 22, 2012

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Gluten Free Chicken Lettuce Cups

Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups Recipe

January 23 is the first day of the Chinese New Year.  Apparently the Chinese really know how to bring in a new year because they celebrate for 15 days! Yep, not just one measly New Year’s Eve for them but 15 days of partying it up! Here’s a recipe to help you celebrate in style and fortune – Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups.

Serving lettuce cups for Chinese New Year makes a lot of sense (or should I say cents?) as the lettuce represents rising fortune. The word “fortune” encompasses luck, wealth, chances, success, and riches. With that in mind, I suggest you have 2 or 3 or these tasty treats – because seriously, I can think of no easier path to good fortune!

This year in the Chinese calendar marks the Year of The Dragon. Dragon years are supposed to be lucky for ANYONE thinking of starting a business or project of any kind because money is easier to come by for everyone in years of The Dragon. So, dream your dreams and get busy – this is your year!

According to the Chinese horoscope babies born in The Year of the Dragon tend to be intelligent, passionate, brave and self-assured – pioneering spirits who rush in where angels dare not tread. They are flamboyant, independent and yes, even a bit stubborn. They are charming and charismatic and tend to fall in love fast and hard. They may rush into love and treat it as a game at times but when they find the right partner, they most certainly can settle down. If you are having a baby this year, I suspect it will be a bit of a handful but OH, what a fabulous handful indeed!

So, here’s to a fortunate new year!

(Gong Hey Fat Choy)

(Happy New Year)

Gluten Free Recipe - Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups Recipe


1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 – 3 cloves)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
4 scallions finely sliced on the diagonal, use divided
1 pound ground chicken
1 cup grated carrot (2 – 3 carrots)
1 8-ounce can whole water chestnuts, cut into ¼ inch dice
6 tablespoons San-J Asian BBQ Sauce, plus more for serving
1 large head Boston Bibb lettuce – leaves separated, washed and dried

Optional Garnish:

1 skein (2 ounces) mung bean vermicelli
Cooking oil
Kosher or fine sea salt


Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon cooking oil, heat for a minute then add the garlic, ginger and 2 sliced scallions. Cook for 30 seconds or until very fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the chicken and cook through, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 2 scallions, the carrots and the diced water chestnuts. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 6 tablespoons San-J Asian BBQ Sauce, and cook, stirring, until heated through – about 30 seconds.

To make the garnish, place paper towels on a dinner plate. Using your hands, gently pull the mung bean vermicelli noodles apart into smaller portions. Heat 2 inches of oil in a small saucepan or wok (the smaller the pan, the less oil you will need) to 375 degrees (rippling but not smoking). Fry one small handful of noodle at a time until they puff up – 5 – 10 seconds. Remove from oil with tongs or a strainer – place on the prepared plate and sprinkle with a little salt.

To serve dip the back of a spoon into a small bowl of San-J Asian BBQ Sauce, spread into a lettuce leaf, spoon in some filling and top with the fried mung bean noodles if desired.


This Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups Recipe serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as an appetizer.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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Categories:    Appetizers

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanene January 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

That looks delish!


Shirley @ gfe January 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm

These look fantastic, Carol! And you’re totally right on the Chinese knowing how to do the New Year’s celebration well! :-)



Alisa January 23, 2012 at 12:22 am

I adore this post Carol. From the Chinese New Year tidbits to one of my favorite recipes. Off to plan that new business venture …


loanjoan January 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I just made this for lunch and it is OUTSTANDING! Spicy/crunchy/delicious! A party in your mouth! Anyone would love this and as I was gobbling down my fourth one I was thinking there are probably no calories to speak of AND it’s all healthy ingredients. It looked just like the photo too because i made the fried noodles. Delicious!


Carol Kicinski January 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

SO happy you enjoyed it and wishing you good fortune this year as well! :)


InTolerant Chef January 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Yummo, I love Asian dishes, and this sounds great!


Carol Kicinski January 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Thank you!


Jennifer January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I have looked through comments on your blog and many people say how great the dish looks, but they never mention how it turned out when they cooked it. I think your blog is amazing, but I do not want to go out and buy foods that I normally do not cook with until I read more reviews. So, let your usual commenters know that they need to give more comments than how beautiful the food is, actually cook it before they comment. It will make me more excited to try the recipes, when I know that the average person has tried cooking them at home. You definitely make visual masterpieces!


Carol Kicinski January 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm

OK, I think you just did! :) Many people do report back but it usually takes some time for them to make the recipe and then get back to me.


loanjoan February 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

Hey Jennifer!
I posted my review of this recipe the same day that Carol posted this recipe at her website. i ran out and bought the ingredients and made the recipe around 4:00 that day. I posted my comments and review later on and thought the recipe was super easy and outstanding. I have made several of Carol’s recipes but never reviewed them that quickly. I made it again about 4 nights later because it was so easy and quick and DELICIOUS! It’s one of my go-to recipes now.


[email protected]:// January 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

Wow! These look so good and the recipe is so simple–what a great combination. Definitely going on the menu this week. Thanks


Carol Kicinski January 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

And here is to your rising fortune this year!


Tracy February 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Made these last night to RAVE reviews! After checking several grocery stores in my area for San-J Asian BBQ Sauce with no luck, I went with San-J Thai Peanut Sauce instead. The wraps were absolutely delicious and also fun to make and eat. Even my usually super picky daughter enjoyed them, and the frying of the noodles was quite entertaining. This meal is going into the regular rotation!


Carol Kicinski February 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Yay!!!! Thanks for reporting back and letting me know. Love it when even the picky ones will eat :)


Cynthia April 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Great recipe! Going to make these as appetizer for DH bday.


Colleen January 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

These were easy and amazing! I can not believe how good they were. I had to write a review!


Carol Kicinski January 18, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thanks Colleen! Glad you liked them.


Barbara July 25, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Made them for a friend who loves lettuce wraps, is undergoing chemo treatments and on a gluten free diet. I made them for me and my husband too. She loved them and so did we!
Had to go to Asain Market for San-J BBQ Sauce & Mung bean noodles though.


Carol Kicinski July 27, 2015 at 9:28 am

Barbara, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed them! Ya, some Asian ingredients are a little hard to find at the normal super market.
xo, Carol


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