Shrimp lettuce wraps make for a delicious and refreshing appetizer or light meal. The combination of tender shrimp, crunchy lettuce, and tangy sauce comes together to create an explosion of flavors in every bite.
Keep reading to learn how to make these easy yet impressive lettuce wraps at home.
Tips for Making Perfect Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
- Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for maximum flavor.
- Cook the shrimp just until pink and opaque throughout; do not overcook.
- Make sure the lettuce leaves are dry so they don’t get soggy.
- Feel free to customize the sauce to your taste; add more ginger, garlic, or chili flakes for an extra kick.
- Prep the carrot, garlic, and ginger in a food processor to save time.
- Swap the shrimp for sliced chicken, beef, or tofu to change it up.
- Serve immediately before the lettuce leaves wilt. Enjoy!
Tips for buying shrimp
Here are some tips for buying shrimp to include in the recipe, with important sentences bolded:
When buying shrimp, look for shells that are translucent and have a slight sweet aroma. This indicates freshness.
Avoid shrimp with blackened or cracked shells, or any unpleasant odor, which are signs they are not fresh. Fresh, raw shrimp should be firm and free of spots.
For the best flavor, buy wild-caught or sustainably farmed shrimp when possible. Wild-caught varieties like Gulf shrimp will offer the sweetest taste.
Opt for medium or large shrimp, as they will be easier to peel, devein, and hold up during cooking. Medium shrimp provide the best value for this recipe.
Buy raw, shell on shrimp and peel them yourself. Shrimp that’s been pre-peeled and cooked may get mushy when cooked again.
When preparing the shrimp, pull off the legs and shells, then use a paring knife to devein. Rinse thoroughly after deveining.
Pat shrimp very dry before cooking for the best sear and caramelization. Wet shrimp may steam instead of sear.
I hope these tips help you pick out fresh, delicious shrimp to make flavorful lettuce wraps! Let me know if you need any other recipe tips.
For each lettuce wrap:
- Calories: 105
- Total Fat: 3g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Sodium: 320mg
- Total Carbs: 6g
- Protein: 12g
Let’s break down the nutrition stats:
High in protein: The shrimp provide over half your protein for the wrap, keeping you full and satisfied.
Low in saturated fat: Unlike beef or pork, shrimp are naturally low in saturated fat and calories.
Contains veggies: The lettuce, carrot, and green onions provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Immune-boosting ginger: Fresh ginger adds a kick and may help support immunity.
So enjoy these guilt-free lettuce wraps without worrying about your waistline!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of lettuce should I use?
Butter, bibb, or iceberg lettuce work best since the leaves are cup-shaped and sturdy enough to hold the filling. Avoid delicate lettuces like arugula, which will wilt quickly.
Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
Absolutely! The sauce can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
How long does this appetizer take from start to finish?
With prepped ingredients, these shrimp lettuce wraps take only about 15–20 minutes to make, making them perfect when you need a quick appetizer.
Allow 5 minutes to prep, 5 minutes to cook the shrimp, and 5 minutes to assemble.
Can I freeze the shrimp filling?
You can freeze the cooked shrimp mixture for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before assembling the lettuce wraps. Add a splash of water when reheating to prevent drying out.
What is the best way to prevent the lettuce from getting soggy?
Make sure to dry the lettuce leaves thoroughly after washing. Assemble the wraps right before serving, and don’t overfill them. Enjoy immediately while the lettuce is still crisp.
What can I serve alongside these lettuce wraps?
These make a light meal on their own, or pair them with sides like rice, veggies, chips and salsa, or a cold noodle salad.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. red chili flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 butter or bibb lettuce leaves
- 2 tbsp. chopped peanuts for garnish
Prep the Ingredients
- Peel, devein, and rinse the shrimp. Pat it dry with paper towels.
- Mince the garlic and grate the ginger and carrot. Slice the green onions.
- Wash the lettuce leaves and pat them dry.
Cook the Shrimp
- In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, and green onions. Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add the shrimp and continue cooking for 2–3 minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Make the Sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes (if using), and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Assemble the Lettuce wraps.
- Place the lettuce leaves on a serving platter.
- Divide the shrimp mixture evenly among the lettuce leaves.
- Drizzle each with the sauce.
- Garnish with chopped peanuts.
- Use fresh or thawed shrimp, never frozen.
- Look for bibb or butter lettuce for the best cup-shaped leaves.
- Mix up the protein with chicken, beef, or tofu instead of shrimp.
- Customize the sauce to your tastes - add sriracha, lime juice, cilantro, or peanut butter.
- Not a shrimp fan? Substitute shredded chicken, sliced steak, or crumbled tofu.
- For a heartier meal, serve it over a bed of rice or quinoa.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.