What is the best kind of lettuce to do wraps?

Why This Healthy Lettuce Wraps Recipe Works?

  • These healthy chicken lettuce wraps require just a handful of ingredients (most are household staples).
  • It is budget-friendly, too – since most ingredients are likely in your kitchen and the veggies and protein are changeable.
  • Mix and match the protein and veggies for a super versatile meal! These are an excellent meal for raiding the back of your fridge for those ‘starting-to-go-wrinkly’ vegetables.
  • Using a homemade teriyaki sauce makes these Asian lettuce wraps far healthier than when using store-bought sauces! You can control the sodium and sugar levels.
  • These healthy lettuce wraps are also quick and easy to prepare.
  • The wraps are hearty and packed with flavor, yet low-carb!

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What Lettuce is Best For Wraps?

If you would like the wraps to look like they do in the restaurant, you will need to use bibb or butter lettuce. Butter lettuce is really small and perfect if you are going to use the wraps as an appetizer. Whole Foods is the only store I consistently see butter lettuce. With other supermarkets it is very hit or miss for me.

I often turn my lettuce wraps into a main dish. I love to use romaine lettuce for main dish wraps. Romaine is larger and longer than bibb/butter lettuce. It can also withstand more filling. Because this recipe has sauce, you will need to be careful with overfilling the lettuce. Romaine makes it much easier to work with.

These lettuce wraps can be great for meal prep. Pack your lettuce in Ziploc bags (air-tight) and place your chicken filling in this freezer friendly Tupperware from Amazon. You can even freeze this dish for future use!

How do you cut a lettuce head for lettuce wraps?

Now that you know which lettuce is best for wraps, it’s time to help you cut a lettuce head for your keto shrimp taco lettuce wraps.

If you’re using Iceberg lettuce then you’ll need to remove the core of your Iceberg lettuce and cut the head of lettuce in half.

You can then separate each of the lettuce leaves into layers of 2-3 lettuce leaves for your tacos.

If you plan to use butter lettuce for your shrimp lettuce tacos then you can easily separate the leaves and set them aside for use during the process of putting your shrimp taco favorites on top of the lettuce leaves.

Enough with all that lettuce talk, what I really love about these taco lettuce wraps is the shrimp!

That delightful shrimp flavor mixed with the crunch of shredded purple cabbage, avocado and tomato seals the deal.

I can’t even begin to explain that flavor explosion that happens with my first bite of every keto shrimp taco lettuce wrap.

Did someone say tacos?

If you’re done listening to me talk the lettuce wraps and taco talk, then scroll some more to find the information you seek for this delightful keto shrimp taco lettuce wraps recipe.

Sauces for Lettuce Wraps

The great thing about making sauces for lettuce wraps is that a few pantry staples can be combined in different ways to make several different meals.

I keep low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free variation), rice vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, peanut butter, and limes on hand for sauce combos!

How to you keep lettuce wraps crisp and fresh

Excess moisture can spoil leafy greens faster. That’s why I prefer to wrap them with some kitchen paper (it absorbs the extra moisture), put them inside plastic bags or airtight food containers and store them in the fridge. When I want to use them I take the quantity I want, rinse them well and let them drain completely.

Butter Lettuce: The Best Lettuce for Wraps

Butter lettuce, also referred to as Boston or Bibb, is loose-headed lettuce.

It comes in many shades, from bright green to reddish and pink. 

Butter lettuce is the best option to use to make lettuce wraps.

Here’s why.

Broad and Rounded Leaves 

The leaves of butter lettuce, unlike many other lettuce varieties, have a round shape. The leaves are also quite broad. These are two qualities of lettuce leaves that make butter lettuce the most suitable option for lettuce wraps.

You can put a good amount of filling and wrap it so that nothing falls out. 

Strong but Flexible Leaves 

The leaves of butter lettuce are strong enough to hold both a heavier meat filling or a light vegetable one. However, they are also pliable enough for wrapping. 

The leaves of butter lettuce are quite delicate to touch and feel somewhat creamy. Hence the name butter. Thus, as much as they are durable, you need to be careful not to tear them. 

Mild Flavor 

Butter lettuce has a very mild flavor. It has a slight sweetness and a little bitterness. Its taste is neutral enough to go with any filling. 

Easy to Separate the Leaves 

Unlike iceberg lettuce, which requires more effort to separate the leaves, butter lettuce is fairly easy to handle. 

It is loose-headed lettuce, which means that the leaves don’t hold together tightly as hard-headed lettuce leaves do. 

How To Make Lettuce Wraps Rolled Tight In Parchment Paper

This quick tutorial will show you how to make a lettuce wrap at home, just like you would grab at any legit sandwich shop:

  • Lay out your lettuce leaves on parchment. Be sure to overlap them generously.

TIP: If you’re using a lot of fillings, use a few extra lettuce leaves for coverage! This will ensure things don’t fall out.

  • Layer the sauce in first, so it’s covered, sticks to the lettuce, and doesn’t run off or out. Placing the sauce between the lettuce and the meat creates a seal.
  • Layer your other fillings next – meat, cheese, and veggies.
  • Roll the wrap like you would a sushi roll, pulling the parchment up and out as you fold it over, so you’re not tucking the paper into the wrap… make sense?
  • Tear off a little paper at a time when you’re eating it.

TIP: If you’re traveling with lettuce wraps, you may want to use aluminum foil, so it can be tightly closed on the ends until ready to eat!

How to Clean Shrimp

Time to get your hands dirty! Learning how to peel and devein shrimp can seem like a daunting task, but it’s really pretty simple. Also, it’s not technically necessary to devein your shrimp, so if you want to skip it, you can. The “vein” is the shrimp’s digestive tract, and it can have a little sand or grit in it sometimes, so we like to remove it.

  • Defrost! Defrost your shrimp in a bowl of cold water in the fridge.
  • Peel! Drain the shrimp. Begin to peel the shrimp by holding the shrimp in one hand and use your other hand to peel off the legs. Once the legs have been removed, you can take the shrimp shell off by peeling it, beginning from where you took off the legs.
  • To keep the tail on—we like to leave the shrimp tail-on— just hold it firmly in place with one hand while you peel the shell of the body of the shrimp with your other hand.
  • To remove the vein, hold the shrimp with the back side up. Use a sharp, small knife (like a paring knife) or a shrimp deveiner to make a shallow cut along the vein (the dark line that runs along the back of the shrimp). Once you’ve made the incision, use the tip of the knife to scrape out the vein.
  • Done! Time to get cooking!

Instructions

    1. Heat oil in wok over medium high heat. Add in onions along with white part of green onions. Sauté till translucent. Add chicken, break up and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, ginger along with tamari sauce, vinegar, monk fruit sweetener and chili garlic sauce. Cook till chicken is fully cooked. Stir in green part of the green onions and cilantro.
    2. Separate the lettuce leaves from the head. Scoop generous amounts of chicken mixture into the lettuce leaf boats and enjoy.

    3. Romaine

    Romaine is best used for “boats”, but not for wraps.

    It’s an okay option, but only the outer leaves are good for wraps, and even then they are pretty narrow, limiting the amount of food you can actually wrap.

    While the crunch of romaine is nice texture-wise, it often snaps when you try to fold it around food.

    What Can I Put In Lettuce Wraps?

    Chicken and steak lettuce wraps are usually my go-to’s. Be sure to check out my Keto and Low-Carb Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Steak Lettuce Wraps.

    How To Make A Lettuce Wrap With Romaine

    Because romaine doesn’t have as much “leafy” area to it, romaine lettuce wraps can be a bit tricky. But you can do it!

    Here are the two main ways for making lettuce wraps with romaine lettuce:

    1. Like a taco shell – This way, it doesn’t need to be completely wrapped up. If you picture it like a taco, it’s easy to eat. Hold it folded over lengthwise.
    2. Overlap the lettuce leaves – By overlapping your lettuce leaves and using parchment paper, you can create tight lettuce wraps with Romaine lettuce. See my tips below on how to do that!

    Tips for Best Chicken Lettuce Wrap Results

    • Pre-prepare the ingredients: Make sure the veggies and chicken are pre-chopped, ready when needed.  
    • Keep the lettuce crisp: If your lettuce looks a little wilted, then submerge the leaves in cold/ice water for 5-10 minutes to perk up.
    • Experiment with proteins/veggies: These healthy lettuce wraps are super versatile. Swap out the proteins and veggies to combine with the healthy teriyaki sauce for a recipe that will never get old!
    • Chop the veggies small: To make sure that each bite of the healthy chicken lettuce wrap is bursting with flavor!

    Are Lettuce Wraps Gluten Free?

    All of the light, crunchy veggies and tender chicken are gluten-free. But for the sauce, find a gluten free soy sauce. There are a few good options out there, so just swap regular soy sauce out for a GF variety and you’re good to go!

    What’s Sticky Shrimp?

    It’s what we call these juicy, plump, sauce-slicked shrimp! They’re coated in an insanely yummy sweet-savory-spicy sauce that hits all the spots, and because it has cornstarch, honey and brown sugar in it, it really does stick to the shrimp—it coats them in the best way. Yum. Here’s what you’ll need to make these delightfully sticky, speedy sautéed shrimp:

    • Soy sauce or tamari
    • Sesame oil
    • Chili sauce, like sambal oelek
    • Brown sugar
    • Honey
    • Fresh garlic and ginger
    • Cornstarch
    • Shrimp

    What Meat is Best in Lettuce Wraps?

    We adore chicken in these wraps because the sauce compliments the meat so beautifully. But you could easily use ground turkey, pork, shredded beef or even ground beef in this recipe.

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