Thai Larb Chicken Lettuce Cups

chicken lettuce cups recipe

It’s a super special week for our dear friend Jaden from, her newest cookbook Healthy Asian Favorites is out. She’s been working so hard over the past two years recipe testing, writing and shooting her labor of love. We’re so happy for her. Let’s all give her a round of applause and support!

healthy asian favoritesJaden’s latest book, Healthy Asian Favorites,  is chock full of healthy and easy recipes that you can enjoy everyday. We know how good her cooking is because we tasted practically half the book when we went out to help her on the book last year. Jaden’s cooking is always so approachable, delicious and full of flavor. What’s she’s so good at is taking  classic recipes and making them easy to cook and this time, she’s focused on making them healthy. Seriously, who doesn’t love a cookbook that’s loaded with delicious and healthy recipes. We could all use these recipes every day and throughout the week.

Aside from the Asian classics, Jaden is also very good at creative inventive, fresh and modern recipes. She makes tasty magic with just a few simple and healthy ingredients. This is the kind of cooking that nurtures us every day. Healthy Asian Favorites is a truly wonderful collection of recipes you can trust and turn to on a daily basis.

There’s been a fun round of recipe-sharing celebrations for Jaden’s cookbook this week. Jeanette made Dan Dan Mien Noodles, Maria made Cauliflower steaks with Ginger Soy Sauce, Shauna made Miso Soup and more recipes soon to be shared by Recipe girl and Katies Cucina.

chicken lettuce cups recipe

Today we’re sharing Jaden’s fabulous, repeat-fabulous, Thai larb lettuce cups. We just can’t get enough of lettuce cups. They’re so fresh, crisp, satisfying and the perfect way to have fun eating a salad. Be prepared to make a huge batch because they’re so addicting. This is one of the perfect-party dishes that’s so much fun to eat and that leaves you feeling full and happy.

Congrats Jaden on a beautiful cookbook!


diane and todd

Watch Jaden’s cookbook trailer that we produced!

Thai Larb Lettuce Cups

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 15 min

Printed with permission by Jaden Hair, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Jaden's headnote excerpt: Larb is an Asian salad that’s considered the national dish of Laos. It features a sour and spicy warm stir-fried meat on top of cold, crisp lettuce. The dressing is made of fish sauce, spicy fresh chiles, and fresh lime juice. Fresh mint leaves provide a refreshing finish. On the list of my favorite sounds would be the crisp snap crunch of super-cold lettuce as you peel off the layers, one by one. Use iceberg, Boston bibb, or any kind of lettuce that has cup-shaped leaves for this recipe. Keep the lettuce refrigerated until ready to eat.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken breast
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
  • Minced fresh chiles, Jalapeño or Fresno (amount up 
to you)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated into “cups”
  • 1 handful of cilantro and/or mint, cut into chiffonade


  1. Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil and add the chicken. Use your spatula to break up the meat and spread out over the surface of the pan. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. Push the ground chicken to one side of the pan and swirl in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. To the oil, add the shallots, red onion, garlic, and fresh chiles and sauté the aromatics until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce.
  3. Serve with lettuce cups and herbs.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Jami

    I just made this – super easy and super good! Not a lot of heat, but I only started with 2 jalapenos, seeded for the most part. Next time, 2 with seeds-see how it goes. I like heat, but my hubby doesn’t. I added garlic-chili paste on my serving and it was all good!

  2. Dave @ Fit Chef Chicago

    I love larb! It’s a dish that’s sound complicated but is fairly simple to prepare. Great post!

  3. Karla

    I’m mouth-watering now!
    Seems to be easy appetizer. I like Jaden Hair. Her recipes always look beautiful.

  4. sul kyounghee

    I love your site and your recipe .
    Thank you!

  5. Deanna

    Made these last night so easy and delicious!

  6. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up

    My dad first introduced me to larb at our favorite Thai place in So Cal. I love it. Jaden’s book sounds great, LOVE her site.

  7. Mallory

    This looks so delicious! I think I know what to make for dinner tonight :)

  8. Herbivore Triathlete

    I absolutely love Steamy Kitchen! The trailer looks fantastic and I really like how approachable Jaden makes Asian food look.

  9. Julia

    I’ve been anxious to take a gander at the Steamy Kitchen cookbook! It looks like it makes Asian food so approachable, which is perfect for me because I have very little experience preparing it. Your lettuce cups look light, healthful and tasty!

  10. Deb @ Deb's Kitchen

    These look amazing! Thanks so much for the tips on fish sauce substitutions!

  11. Dani G.

    I pre-ordered and Amazon says it’s on its way. I can’t wait to play with it! Can’t wait for YOUR book either. Hurry, hurry. 😉

  12. Amanda

    Oooh. I just had her gyoza filling (made into wee meatballs) for lunch. Now I’ll have to get my hands on that book. Thanks for the beautiful introduction!

  13. Christyna (Baker With a Cause)

    Can’t wait to get this book! Quick question: My son is allergic to seafood/shellfish. What substitution can be made for fish sauce?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      The easiest sub is to increase the soy sauce amount to get the saltiness you like. There are some great fish sauce substitute recommendations here too. Since there is a lot a flavor coming from the lime, onions, shallots, chilies, and soy sauce already, for this recipe I would think the soy sub would be more than sufficient. Maybe a touch more lime too.

  14. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Great job on the cookbook trailer! you guys did a great job in capturing Jaden’s life with her family and in the kitchen! Definitely getting the cookbook.

  15. Katie

    These looks so good! Jaden’s book is beautiful and the trailer is amazing!! You guys did a great job!

  16. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Fantastic video!! Larb is one of my favorite things to order at a Thai restaurant. Who knew it could be this easy :P?

  17. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    These look so good, I love food you can connect to and get all grabby with the ingredients…knives and forks be gone!

  18. Bev @ Bev Cooks

    LOVE these wraps! And her book! And your dishware. I have that set too. 😉

  19. Maria

    We are loving Jaden’s book and the trailer is fantastic! Now we need a dinner party in real life:)

    1. jack

      Everything looks very yummy.I love it

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