Have you been looking for a delicious and healthy recipe that will liven up your taste buds? Look no further than this Vietnamese shrimp lettuce wraps recipe! This popular Asian dish combines the sweetness of mangoes, the freshness of herbs, and the zing of lime juice with succulent shrimp to create a taste explosion in every bite.
Not only is this dish absolutely delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. And what’s more, it’s perfect for people on a low carb diet or anyone who just wants a light and tasty meal that won’t weigh them down.
So come with me as we journey through the ingredient list, step-by-step instructions, and helpful tips that are sure to make this Vietnam-inspired dish an instant favorite in your culinary arsenal. Get ready to wow your friends and family with these shrimp lettuce wraps that pack a punch.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Skip the takeout and satisfy your cravings with these delicious Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. Perfect for a light lunch or a mouthwatering dinner, this recipe is sure to become a new family favorite.
The combination of fresh ingredients like crunchy lettuce, juicy shrimp, and julienned vegetables are balanced with the savory flavor of fish sauce, garlic, and sugar. Plus, a hint of heat from crushed red pepper flakes will add an extra kick to your palate.
What’s great about this recipe is its versatility. You can customize it with your favorite proteins or substitute veggies for a vegetarian version. It’s perfect if you’re meal prepping, cooking for one or two, or serving up some healthy appetizers.
Not only is this recipe quick and easy to make, but it’s also low-carb and gluten-free. So whether you’re trying to stay on track with your diet or looking for new flavors to try in your kitchen, these lettuce wraps dotted with fresh herbs and soaked in a zesty lime dipping sauce are designed to impress.
Trust me; once you sink your teeth into these wraps’ sticky caramelized shrimp paired with refreshing mangoes and cucumbers, you’ll be hooked!
Here is a list of ingredients needed for Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps recipe:
- 1 pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/4 cup of fish sauce
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- juice of 2 limes, cut into wedges for serving
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves separated and trimmed into cups
- 1 head of Boston lettuce, leaves separated and trimmed into cups
- 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
- scallion tops, thinly sliced on the bias
- fresh basil leaves
- cilantro leaves
- 2 cups julienned carrots
- 2 cups julienned English cucumbers
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
Some possible substitutions and variations and the steps to follow can be found in the following sections.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking this amazing Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps recipe! Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your dish.
Prep the Shrimp and Vegetables
- Peel and devein 1 pound of medium shrimp.
- Tip: Keep the tails on for easier handling.
- Julienne 1/2 cup of carrots, and 2 cups of English cucumbers.
- Slice 1/2 a red onion into thin slices.
- Cut 1 lime into wedges.
Prepare the Sauce
- Combine 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1/4 cup of hot water in a small bowl until sugar dissolves.
- Tip: Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes for extra spice.
- Squeeze in juice from half a lime and stir to combine.
Cook the Shrimp
- Heat up a non-stick pan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil, wait for it to heat up, then add the shrimp.
- Season with salt and pepper, then cook until they turn pink and opaque, about 3-4 minutes.
- Tip: For another variation, try using lemongrass shrimp or sticky caramelized shrimp.
Assemble the Lettuce Wraps
- Rinse and pat dry lettuce leaves, using either iceberg or Boston lettuce cups.
- Tip: You can also use butter lettuce or green leaf lettuce.
- Place a leaf top on each lettuce cup.
- Add cooked shrimp (leaving tails on for presentation), julienned carrots and cucumbers, sliced red onions, mint leaves, fresh basil leaves, cilantro leaves, and scallion tops into the lettuce cups.
- Tip: Add diced mango and avocado for a shrimp mango lettuce wrap variation.
- Drizzle the sauce over the top of each lettuce wrap or serve in a small dish for dipping.
- Tip: For a Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce, mix together 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 1/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes, and juice from half a lime to taste.
Now you know how to make delicious Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps that look fancy but are easy to make at home! These wraps are perfect as an appetizer or a main course for any meal. Don’t forget to pair it with some nuoc cham, peanut sauce, or banh mi for an authentic Vietnamese cuisine experience!
Substitutions and Variations
There are many ways to make this Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps recipe your own. Here are a few substitutions and variations you can try:
– Protein: If you don’t like shrimp or want to switch things up, you can use grilled chicken, ground pork, or beef instead. You can also try lemongrass shrimp for a more flavorful twist.
– Lettuce: The recipe calls for a mixture of iceberg and Boston lettuce leaves, but you can use any variety of lettuce that is sturdy enough to hold the filling. Butter lettuce, green leaf lettuce or even raw spinach leaves would work great.
– Vegetables: Instead of carrots, you can use julienned cucumbers, bell peppers or sugar snap peas for some added crunch. You can also sprinkle some thinly sliced red onions for a bit of extra flavor.
– Dipping sauce: This recipe’s Vietnamese-style dipping sauce is perfect for these wraps, but if you want to add more variety you can try peanut sauce or nuoc cham.
– Mango: This recipe includes mango as an ingredient in the filling. If you’re not a fan of mango or it’s not in season, you can substitute with other fruits such as papaya or pineapple.
– Spiciness: If you prefer your food less spicy, adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes used in the recipe. Or if you want an extra kick, sprinkle some hot sauce on top of the wrap before folding it up.
By experimenting with different substitutions and variations to this recipe, you can customize it to suit your preferences and taste buds.
Serving and Pairing
Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps are a refreshing and versatile dish that pairs well with many different drinks and sides. These wraps can be served as an appetizer or as a light meal. I recommend serving them with a side dish of jasmine rice or rice noodles to make for a more filling meal.
I often complement these wraps with a spicy lime dipping sauce, made by mixing fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. This dipping sauce adds an extra zing of flavor that perfectly complements the shrimp and herbs in the wraps.
These wraps are also great when paired with asian coleslaw or julienned carrots and cucumbers. The crunchy texture of these veggies adds a nice contrast to the tender shrimp and soft lettuce wraps.
For drinks, I pair Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with chilled beverages such as iced tea, beer, or white wine. The lightness of the dish perfectly matches the crisp and refreshing nature of these drinks.
Finally, for those looking for an alternative to lettuce wraps, try serving the shrimp filling on top of a bed of greens for a salad variation. Add some fresh mango slices or avocado to enhance the taste.
Overall, there are countless ways to serve and pair Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. Experiment with different sides and drinks to find your favorite combination.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As a busy chef, I understand the importance of planning and preparation. That’s why the Vietnamese shrimp lettuce wraps recipe is perfect for those who prefer to get things done in advance.
For a Make-Ahead option, prepare the shrimp and veggies ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply heat up the shrimp and assemble the wraps. This makes it an excellent party dish as you can prep ahead of time and have everything ready to go when your guests arrive.
When it comes to Storing, avoid adding any dressing or sauce to the lettuce wraps as they will wilt quickly. Instead, store the components separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The cooked shrimp can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Reheating options include microwaving or sautéing the shrimp or veggies quickly over high heat. Alternatively, if you don’t mind cold food, you can eat these Vietnamese shrimp lettuce wraps straight from the fridge.
These easy make-ahead and storing options make this dish incredibly versatile and suitable for busy weeknights or preparing for special events. You can enjoy these delicious shrimp lettuce wraps anytime, anywhere – whether it’s at home, picnics, barbeques or potlucks!
Tips for Perfect Results
To achieve perfect results when making Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, follow these tips:
1. Use fresh ingredients such as lettuce, shrimp, herbs and vegetables to guarantee maximum flavor and texture.
2. Marinate the peeled and deveined shrimp in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, garlic, lime juice and crushed red pepper flakes for at least 30 minutes to infuse them with a rich and tangy flavor that complements the sweetness of the seafood.
3. Choose sturdy lettuce leaves that can hold up the filling such as iceberg, Boston or butter lettuce. Leaves that are too thin or wilted won’t provide enough support and make eating difficult.
4. Cut the vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and red onion into thin, matchstick-like pieces for an added crunch and an aesthetic flair that bring texture to your wrap.
5. Place the cooked shrimp on top of the lettuce leaf before adding the julienned vegetables and herbs to ensure that they don’t fall out when rolling.
6. If you want extra heat in your wrap, add some spicy lime dipping sauce made from water, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and chili garlic paste on top before rolling it up.
7. To make a complete meal, pair this dish with rice noodles or steamed rice as a refreshing accompaniment that balances out the flavors.
8. Also, consider adding various dim sum items such as spring rolls or banh mi for a restaurant-quality feast at home or impressing guests at a dinner party.
As we wrap up this recipe article, you may still have some questions about the Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. Fear not – I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and provided answers to ensure you are successful in making these wraps. So, without further ado, let’s tackle your concerns!
What kind of lettuce is best for wraps?
There are various types of green leafy lettuce that you can use for lettuce wraps, with Boston bib lettuce and romaine hearts being commonly preferred. Additionally, cabbage leaves or jicima wraps are also great options for crafting tasty lettuce wraps.
What is lettuce wrap sauce made of?
To create the perfect dipping sauce, grab a small bowl and begin by mixing 1/4 cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 teaspoons of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese hot mustard, 1 to 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce (giving it a taste test), and finally 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil. These ingredients blend together to provide the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, with a hint of spiciness.
How to make lettuce crisp for lettuce wraps?
One of my favorite tricks to make lettuce leaf cups extra crisp is by draining them in a colander and gently patting them dry with a paper towel or clean tea towel. After this, I carefully place the lettuce leaf cups in a large plastic bag and refrigerate them for a few hours until they become ultra-crisp and ready to be used. This technique not only enhances the texture of the lettuce cups but also makes it easier to remove the crunchy outer leaves/cups.
Now that you have all the information needed to make this delicious Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps recipe, it’s time to head to the kitchen and start cooking! There are a few things I want to mention before you begin. Firstly, don’t be afraid to make substitutions and variations based on your personal preferences. Secondly, make sure you follow the tips and recommendations I noted above so that you can achieve the best results possible. Lastly, be sure to serve the shrimp lettuce wraps with the tangy and spicy lime dipping sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh and vibrant flavors, and this shrimp lettuce wrap recipe is no exception. With its juicy shrimp, crunchy vegetables, and aromatic herbs, it’s a true delight for the senses. The delicate sweetness of the mango, combined with the savory fish sauce and pungent garlic, creates an explosion of flavors in every bite.
Whether you’re looking for a low-carb option or a healthy and refreshing dish for lunch or dinner, Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps is perfect. They are also great appetizers for parties or gatherings as they can be prepared ahead of time and are easy to serve.
In conclusion, this Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe is one of my favorite recipes of all time because it’s easy to make, healthy, flavorful and absolutely delicious. It’s great for people who love Asian flavors or who want something different from traditional western dishes. So why not give it a shot today? I guarantee that once you try it, you’ll be hooked for life!
Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 lb thin rice sticks, noodles, softened in hot water to cover and drained
- 1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaf (fresh coriander)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaf
- 1/2 cup finely chopped scallion top
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaf
- 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
- 1 head iceberg lettuce or 2 heads boston lettuce, core trimmed, leaves separated, pressed to flatten, rinsed & drained
- 1 pinch salt & pepper, to taste (for shrimp)
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste (for shrimp)
Vietnamese Sweet-n-Sour Dipping Sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 limes, juice of
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons grated carrots
- In a large pot, heat the water until boiling. Add the softened rice stick noodles and swirl in the hot water, then cook until just tender, 10-15 seconds. Drain thoroughly in a colander and rinse under cold water. Clip the noodles into 3 inch lengths and place into a medium serving container.
- Chop the fresh herbs and peanuts as above and place each in an individual serving container (small bowl or ramekin).
- Peel and de-vein the shrimp, remove the tails. If shrimp are large, cut in to thirds. Season shrimp in a mixing bowl with lemongrass paste (you can use finely chopped fresh lemongrass if available), salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Mix thoroughly and saute in a large pan with peanut oil until shrimp are just cooked. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and place in a serving container.
- To make the dipping sauce: In a small mixing bowl, soak the crushed red pepper in lime juice for several minutes Add the garlic, sugar, and fish sauce and stir to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a serving container and add the grated carrots and serve at room temperature Refrigerated, the sauce will keep in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days.
- To Serve: Arrange lettuce on a large platter surrounded by the containers of chopped herbs, etc. and dipping sauce. To make a wrap, take a lettuce leaf in hand, place a small bundle of rice stick noodles on the leaf, scoop a large tablespoon of shrimp on to lettuce leaf, then add any herbs that you like. Add a teaspoon of dipping sauce onto the mixture on the leaf and then roll and eat. Delicious!