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These shrimp lettuce wraps are juicy and delicious, made even more irresistible with a creamy peanut dipping sauce!

Shrimp lettuce wraps

We’re always looking for fun and healthy dinner ideas, and this one makes a splash: Shrimp Lettuce Wraps! They’re bursting with zingy flavor and crunchy veggies, and the creamy peanut sauce seals the deal. If you’re wary of eating your food in lettuce leaves, know that this one is so flavor-packed you won’t go away unsatisfied. These were quick to disappear at our house, and we hope they will be at yours! (Want vegan? Go to Tofu Lettuce Wraps.)

Ingredients in shrimp lettuce wraps

Shrimp lettuce wraps are a fun way to eat these juicy shellfish as a gluten free dinner or appetizer. Lettuce wraps are a food that originated in China, then spread throughout Southeast Asia. Today they are particularly popular in Laos and Thailand.

In the past decades they have become very popular in America, especially with the interest in gluten-free and keto diets. This recipe is not authentically Asian, but a spin on the American interpretation of the idea. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Protein: Shrimp, deveined and tail on or peeled
  • Pantry: Hoisin sauce, soy sauce (or tamari), rice vinegar, cornstarch, olive oil
  • Fresh: Garlic, ginger, green onions, butter lettuce, carrots, bell pepper, cilantro
Shrimp lettuce wraps

Tips for buying shrimp

There’s a wide variety of options at the store when it comes to purchasing shrimp. Here’s what we find is best for shrimp lettuce wraps:

  • Medium shrimp: Medium shrimp is our favorite size for a dish like this, though small shrimp would also work well in lettuce leaves. Medium is labeled as 41 to 50 count (the number of shrimp per pound).
  • Wild caught: Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Peeled (or tail on): Tail on shrimp looks the best aesthetically, but it is definitely harder to eat for shrimp lettuce wraps. We left the tails on for the photo, but would recommend serving with fully peeled shrimp.
  • Fresh or frozen: Frozen shrimp can be as high quality as fresh, if it’s frozen as soon as it’s caught. Make sure to thaw the shrimp before you start this recipe.

Best lettuce for shrimp lettuce wraps

What’s the best type of lettuce for shrimp lettuce wraps? The best variety to use here is butter lettuce, also called Bibb lettuce. The delicate flavor, handheld size and circular shape of butter lettuce make it perfectly suited for wraps.

  • Butter lettuce is a variety of green lettuce that has a soft, delicate texture reminiscent of the creaminess of butter and a mild, sweet flavor. This term includes both Boston and Bibb lettuce. It’s often sold as a small head with the roots still attached to keep it from wilting, or in boxes of separate leaves.
  • Substitutes for butter lettuce: If you can’t find butter lettuce, you could try romaine hearts. However, the shape is less suitable for wraps and the flavor is a bit stronger. Green cabbage is another options, but it’s tougher to bite through and also has a stronger flavor.
Shrimp lettuce wraps

Use the peanut sauce for drizzling or dipping

The best part of this shrimp lettuce wraps recipe is the sauce (in our opinion!). This peanut sauce recipe is savory, sweet, salty, sour, and a little spicy all at once. It adds dimension and makes these lettuce wraps absolutely irresistible.

You can use the sauce for dipping, but we find it can be a little hard to dip the wraps into the sauce without them falling apart. So we like to simply drizzle each wrap with the sauce!

How to serve shrimp lettuce wraps

You can use these shrimp lettuce wraps as an appetizer, but because of the prep time involved we prefer to eat them as a main dish! If you serve them as a main, add another dish or two to round it out and make a satisfying meal. Here are a few ideas for sides to serve with lettuce wraps:

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

More shrimp recipes

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of these shrimp lettuce wraps in the comments below. They’re a delicious gluten-free dinner idea and great as a summer dinner. Here are a few more shrimp recipes you might enjoy:

This shrimp lettuce wraps recipe is…

Pescatarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free (with gluten-free hoisin sauce and tamari).

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Shrimp lettuce wraps

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

These shrimp lettuce wraps are juicy and delicious, made even more irresistible with a creamy peanut dipping sauce!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 recipe Peanut Sauce
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce (or gluten free hoisin)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined and tail on or peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 head butter lettuce (aka Bibb lettuce), leaves separated, washed and dried
  • 2 carrots, julienned or shredded
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the Peanut Sauce, or make it in advance. (Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; allow to come to room temperature before serving.)
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. 
  3. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shrimp, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, garlic, and ginger and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side until just opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs.
  4. When the shrimp is almost cooked, add white and light green portions of the green onions and the sauce and sauté for 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat.
  5. To serve, place the shrimp in the butter lettuce leaves. Top with the remaining green onions, shredded carrots, red pepper strips, and torn cilantro leaves. Drizzle with the peanut sauce before serving, or use it for dipping.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Shrimp lettuce wraps

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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