News and Tribune


April 4, 2014

BBQ MY WAY: Spicy chicken lettuce wraps

In last week’s column we discussed how to perfectly grill a chicken breast whether using a gas grill or a traditional kettle charcoal grill. We also suggested you store some of these grilled breasts in the fridge to use during the week with other recipes. This is one of those recipes.

While some people may think of lettuce wraps as a rather recent health conscious culinary invention, they have actually been around since the 1890s. Back then they were known as “lettuce sandwiches” and were popular both in the United Kingdom and here in the states.

Today’s recipe takes a bit of prep work and quite a few ingredients, but once you get to putting it all together it goes rather quickly. The sauces are delicious and could be spiced up a bit if you prefer something with a little more heat. Outdoor grilled flavor, asian spiciness and sweetness, the crunch of the lettuce and the contrast of hot (the filling) to cold (the iceberg lettuce) makes this a really fun (and healthy) meal.

You can view me making the recipe at


2 grilled chicken breasts (Diced to small pieces)

2 tsp vegetable oil

8 ounces of white mushrooms (Diced to small pieces)

1 yellow onion – chopped

1 6-ounce can water chestnuts – drained and chopped

2 to 3 cloves of garlic – minced

1 1⁄2 cup shredded carrots (you can get this in a bag at the store)

1 1⁄2 cup of bean sprouts (optional)

Chopped cilantro

10 to 12 large iceberg lettuce leaves

Sauce for cooking

1/3 cup lite soy sauce

1 Tbs brown sugar

1 Tbs rice wine vinegar

Drizzling Sauce

4 Tbs lite soy sauce

2 Tbs rice wine vinegar

1 1⁄2 Tbs Honey

1 Tbs spicy or Dijon mustard

1 Tbs (or more) of Sriracha sauce

1⁄2 tsp sesame oil

In two separate bowls, combine the ingredients to make the two sauces prior to starting the cooking. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Saute’ the chopped onions, chopped mushrooms and garlic until the onions are translucent. Maybe four minutes or so. Add the diced chicken, water chestnuts, carrots, bean sprouts and the cooking sauce. Stir and warm through, maybe three minutes. That’s it! Spoon the chicken filling into a lettuce leaf. Drizzle on the “drizzling” sauce, sprinkle in a bit of cilantro, wrap it up and dig in!

— Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. Liz is his wife. He is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. You can contact Dave with your BBQ and grilling questions at

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