Recipe: Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A Nigel Slater recipe, this is my kind of finger food; fiery, fragrant, citrusy nuggets of grilled chicken (or beef, or pork) wrapped in a soft lettuce leaf – just big enough for one or two bites.

It’s also very easy to make – once you’ve assembled all the marinade ingredients, combine everything in a Ziploc bag or shallow dish, cover and chill for a minimum of 30 mins – up to 24 hrs.

You can grill outside or under the broiler/oven grill but I prefer to use a very heavy cast-iron ridge-based stovetop pan. The one I use is made in the USA by ‘Lodge’ -(for non-US readers, I’m sure you have something similar over there) and they’re a worthwhile investment as they aren’t expensive and you’ll have it for years; they retain the heat really well and you’ll get those nice crisscross scorch marks on the meat.

I like to use grape-seed oil – it has a high smoke point which makes it perfect for cooking at high temperatures.


(Serves 1 or 2-4 as an appetizer)


8 oz (250g) of organic boneless chicken breast or thigh meat

Groundnut or grape-seed oil

Lime for squeezing

Soft (Butter) lettuce leaves

For the marinade:

One stalk of lemongrass, chopped

Juice of 2 large limes

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

2 large or 4 small shallots, finely chopped

One tablespoon of nam-pla (Thai fish sauce)

One teaspoon of sugar

2 small hot red chilies, sliced finely

One tablespoon of groundnut or grape-seed oil

One tablespoon of toasted sesame oil

One teaspoon of sesame seeds


Slice the chicken into one-or-two-bite sized chunks. Put the chicken in a shallow dish or a Ziploc bag. Combine all the marinade ingredients together and add to the chicken, making sure everything is well coated.

The marinade is pretty pungent so if you’re marinating in a dish be sure it’s well sealed. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Brush a heavy grill pan with grape-seed or groundnut oil and when really hot, add the chicken pieces (don’t overcrowd them or they wont brown, they’ll steam) – cook a couple of minutes each side until fragrant and golden and no longer pink in the middle.

Eat immediately with a squeeze of fresh lime, each piece wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Indian & Asian Cuisine, Poultry, Salads & Appetizers. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Recipe: Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  1. Dianne says:

    My mouth is watering!!!

  2. Vigi says:

    Yum, this is a keeper!

  3. Sue Ellen says:

    I sent this to my sisters and think it would be great for a lady’s lunch, with sticky rice and a fruit salad. Plum wine?

  4. I certainly agree re the sticky rice and as for a fruit salad: keep a lookout for the persimmon, date and pomegranate fruit salad with clementine zest that I’ll be posting very soon…a wonderful winter fruit concoction 🙂

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