Sometimes, you just want a light, fresh meal that comes together quickly and doesn't require a whole lot of work. These teriyaki chicken lettuce wraps fit the bill exactly.
What Is in Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps?
This recipe consists of ground chicken cooked with vegetables such as red onion, diced zucchini, and red bell peppers, seasoned with teriyaki sauce. It also works with whatever vegetables you have on hand. Feel free to improvise!
I like using butter lettuce as wraps, but any kind of lettuce works. You can even use collard greens or Swiss chard.
How to Make and Store Teriyaki Sauce
The chicken filling is flavored with a homemade teriyaki sauce. It comes together on the stovetop by combining water, soy sauce, mirin, honey, ginger, and garlic, cooked until it thickens. Add in some cornstarch whisked in a tablespoon of water and you've got homemade teriyaki sauce.
You could substitute your favorite store-bought teriyaki sauce in this recipe, but making your own is easy. I also find store-bought sauce to be too sweet for my taste, so I like that I can control the amount of sugar that goes into it.
As a bonus, the leftover teriyaki sauce is actually great with any stir-fry recipe, or as a sauce for baked chicken or fish. It will keep in the fridge for about a week.
Make These for a Party!
These lettuce wraps also make a great party appetizer if you double the recipe. Serve the chicken filling in one big bowl with the lettuce and extra teriyaki sauce on a nearby platter, then have your guests make their own wraps!
You can make the filling with the chicken and vegetables up to 2 days before you want to eat it. Store in the fridge, covered, until you're ready to serve. Reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat, covered, until warmed through, or in the microwave. The filling is good for 3 to 4 days.
Love Teriyaki? Try these recipes!
- Teriyaki Chicken Breasts
- Steak Teriyaki
- Salmon Teriyaki Skewers with Pineapple
- Pressure Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings
- Sous Vide Teriyaki Salmon
Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Mirin is a Japanese rice wine often used in cooking. You can find it at Asian grocery stores or sometimes with the other Asian ingredients at larger U.S. grocery stores.
If you can’t find mirin, use sherry cooking wine or leave it out entirely. The mirin is there for flavor, but your sauce will still be great without it.
- For the teriyaki sauce:
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari, for gluten-free)
- 3 tablespoons water, divided
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- For the chicken filling:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup diced red onions (1/4 of a large red onion, or 1/3 of a small one)
- 1 pound (450 g) ground chicken
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- For serving:
- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated and rinsed
- Roasted peanuts, chopped
- Chopped cilantro
- Thinly sliced scallions
Prepare the teriyaki sauce:
Combine the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the water, mirin, honey, minced garlic, and grated ginger in a saucepan. Bring everything to boil over medium heat.
Dissolve the cornstarch with the remaining tablespoon of water and add to the teriyaki sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer until it starts to thicken, about 30 seconds to a minute.
Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool. The sauce will thicken a little more as it cools. You should have about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sauce.
Cook the chicken:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Add half of the diced red onions and cook until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add ground chicken and a pinch of kosher salt. Using your spatula, break up chicken into smaller pieces. Stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate.
Cook the vegetables:
Quickly wipe down the pan and heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining diced red onions and cook until they soften, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and red pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir the sliced scallions and cooked chicken into the pan with the cooked vegetables.
Add the teriyaki sauce:
Drizzle 6 tablespoons of the prepared teriyaki sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil into the pan and stir. Save the rest of the teriyaki sauce for drizzling over wraps. Turn off heat, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
Place several spoonfuls of filling onto a lettuce leaf. Top with chopped peanuts, cilantro, scallions, and an extra drizzle of teriyaki sauce, if desired. Leftover teriyaki sauce will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.