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Thai style chicken lettuce wrapsI’d heard about this dreadful condition, but I never thought it would happen to me. I’m usually very competent at making decisions at restaurants. But I guess no one is immune.

When the waiters came with our food, and I saw what was on my friend’s plate, I knew I had made a mistake. I was suffering from the frequent yet underestimated phenomenon: order envy.

Order envy strikes the most unsuspecting victims and the most unexpected time: you think you made a great decision then you realize that you would rather have what the person sitting across from you is eating. It’s definitely frustrating, and can make for an awkward situation if they catch you drooling over their plate.

In this instant, I had chosen the “original” chicken lettuce wraps, and she had gotten the “thai style” chicken lettuce wraps. Original is a good thing, right? But somehow in this instance “original” meant “just chicken and lettuce” while “thai style” meant “a beautiful assortment of veggies, chicken in a light, yet fragrant sauce, all wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves.”

Since that day, I have had the inspiration in the back of my mind that I wanted to try to recreate a similar recipe. It took a while, but this is what I came up with. I honestly don’t know how close this is to the plate of food I drooled over, I didn’t actually try it. But this recipe is a winner.

If I had just two words to describe this recipe they would be: Holy Flavor! I had considered creating a dipping sauce for the wraps, but once I tried the meat mixture, I realized that it didn’t need it.

Some of these ingredients may be a little hard to find, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Thai Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Thai Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Wraps
  • 1 head iceburg lettuce
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro for garnish


  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat.
  • Add chicken and cook until browned
  • Add red onion, lemongrass, and garlic, and cook until fragrant, and chicken is nearly cooked
  • Mix in lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and tamarind paste and cook until chicken is well cooked. It will have a crumbly texture.
  • Turn off heat and mix in lime zest and cilantro immediately.
  • Serve wrapped in lettuce with veggies and cilantro on top.

Serves: 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main dish


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Ashley Palmer
Ashley is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition. Ashley loves her son, her husband, and lifting heavy things then putting them back down repeatedly. She is a nutrition, fitness and weight loss coach and blogs at www.youtrition.net.


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