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Grilled Hoisin Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Scott Phillips

Servings: three as a main course; six to eight as a starter.



  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 4 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lb.), untrimmed; rinsed and patted dry
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large head Boston lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil (about 20 large leaves)
  • 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh mint (about 1-3/4 oz. bunch)
  • 1 bunch scallions (whites and most of the greens), thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
  • 1 fresh jalapeño or other small hot chile, very thinly sliced crosswise (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on three servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 590
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 290
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 150
  • Sodium (mg): 1980
  • Carbohydrates (g): 21
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 50


  • Heat a gas grill to medium high. In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. In a larger bowl, season the chicken with 1 tsp. salt and 2 Tbs. of the hoisin mixture. Arrange the lettuce leaves, basil, and mint separately on a platter and put the scallions, peanuts, and jalapeño slices (if using) in small serving bowls.
  • Grill the chicken thighs, covered, until well browned and beginning to blacken around the edges, about 5 minutes (rotate the chicken 90 degrees halfway through cooking each side for the most even cooking). Flip and continue to grill until cooked through, about 5 minutes more per side. Let the chicken rest for 8 to 10 minutes and then chop into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice. Transfer the chopped chicken to a serving bowl, add the remaining hoisin mixture, and toss to coat thoroughly. Put the bowl on the table with a serving spoon, along with the platter of lettuce and herbs and the condiments. To eat, spoon the chicken onto the middle of a lettuce leaf, top with basil, mint, scallions, peanuts, and jalapeño (if using), and roll the edges of the lettuce leaves up and around the filling and garnishes.

For an interesting hors d’oeuvre, spoon the chicken into very small lettuce leaves, garnish, and set on a platter.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • Krispie | 10/07/2019

    I made the appetizer version, where I had already plated the chicken and toppings into individual lettuce leaves. I took this to an open house. As I was talking to someone I had just met, she said “oh my goodness, have you tried the lettuce wraps? It is amazing!”. Boy did I feel awesome! I will definately make these again!

  • Jolka | 07/28/2008

    Very good. I had a bit of trouble grilling them on my gas grill, some where not quite ready as obviously my barbecue does not distribute the heat evenly. It's tricky to check them for donness because of all the spicing that changes the color of the meat and it's hard to see the pink spots on dark meat too. So anyway, when eating we ended up with some pieces that were not quite done and had to be to put aside and re-cooked again. I guess, it's something to be more careful about next time.

  • E | 07/12/2008

    Excellent! Made with breast instead of thighs. A great summer meal.

  • foodgeek | 02/17/2008

    You forgot to add the quantity of hoison sauce to your recipe.

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