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Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Boats

It's no secret that I love basil (who doesn't) and Thai basil is a whole other ball game! I can't ever find it fresh at my grocery stores BUT I was able to find a jarred version that is perfect because I keep it in my fridge. Good news - you can find Thai basil (also called Holy Basil) at Asian grocery stores OR you can use regular basil and this will still be amazing thanks to the sauce !

This is maybe my favorite appetizer to order at Thai restaurants (basil rolls are up there too) so I obviously needed my own recipe. This is not necessarily perfectly authentic because we don't have all the same spices and brands here but it is as close as can be in my opinion!

time: 20 minutes

yields: about 8 lettuce wraps (depends on size and how full you fill them)

You'll need

  • 1 lb ground chicken

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1 head of lettuce (iceberg or butter/ boston/ bibb)

  • 4 green onions, diced - whites and greens separated

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • 1 cup regular or thai basil OR 1/4 cup jarred Thai basil

  • 1 red chile pepper, thinly sliced


  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon chili flakes or paste

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


  1. Mix the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Heat the sesame oil over medium in a stir fry pan or wok. Add in the chicken and break it up as it cooks.

  3. Once the chicken starts turning golden brown, add in the sauce and stir. Then add in the basil, peas, and white parts of the green onion. Stir again and cook on medium low until the sauce thickens up, about 5 minutes.

  4. Prep the lettuce while the chicken cools a bit. Just carefully separate the leaves so they stay in tact and work as "boats"

  5. Add a scoop of chicken into each lettuce boat - the number will depend on the size of your lettuce boats and how full you want them to be or how many you have.

  6. Top with the green parts of the green onion, sliced red chili and sriracha if you're feeling some extra heat. Enjoy!


  • You should be able to find the ingredients for this one in the international / Asian section of your grocery store.

  • This sauce would also be wonderful on stir fried veggies, shrimp, minced lamb, noodles, rice... so many things!

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