Lettuce Wraps with Almond–Basil Chicken


Rarely are we without a head of lettuce in the fridge or a new batch of lettuce seedlings in the garden. Lettuce is the starter or base for many of our meals, particularly those with Asian-inspired menus. Our Vietnamese noodle salads or wraps will always be accompanied by a huge platter of raw lettuce, and often the lettuce dish is the decorative centerpiece of the table. In this versatile recipe, you can substitute shrimp, beef, pork, tofu, or chopped vegetables for the chicken.


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound (455g) chicken cutlets, diced small
  • 1 small red (bell) pepper, halved, seeded, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 head fresh lettuce leaves, broadleaf variety, for wrapping
  • ½ cup (20g) chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup (23g) roasted almonds, sliced



  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bell pepper, honey, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and rice vinegar. Continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Serve the chicken in a shallow dish alongside a plate of the lettuce leaves. Fill the leaves with the chicken mixture, and top with a sprinkling of basil and almonds.