Lettuce Wraps – Chinese Style | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Lettuce Wraps – Chinese Style

Lettuce Wrap

Most of the posts included here so far, if you have noticed, are mostly Asian or actually Chinese recipes. Nevertheless I still see the need to specify the style of this dish cause it is available in many regions yet varies quite a lot in the use of ingredients.

Recalled from my dinning experience, lettuce wraps of the Korean type are the most exciting; apart from generally having pieces of beef as the filling, there are also red hot sauces and raw garlics to go with it. When eating the Thai style, I could probably differentiate it from the others by the first one or two bites as it is just easy to tell from the flavors of added fish sauce and ground peanuts. Talking about the uniqueness, another one that has impressed me is the Malay wraps, I might not be that familiar with Malaysian menu, but I have enjoyed their popular bean sprouts in many kinds of their dishes, lettuce wraps included!

Me being lucky enough to have tried this same dish of different culinary styles, so there is no reason not sharing mine with you.

A reminder first

I cheated in the top photo. To serve, I usually place lettuce leaves on one plate and the cooked fillings separately on another, as such the vegetable would remain crisp and fresh. Sometimes, I even chill the lettuce well ahead to increase the crispness. Besides, if you do not want water drips from a lettuce leave while sending a wrap into your mouth, please pat dry the lettuce after rinsing and/or before serving.


  • Ingredients
  • 6-8 pcs iceburg lettuce leave,
  • 100g ground pork
  • 5-6 pcs dried oyster, ~60g
  • 5-6 pcs water chestnut, ~80g
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • Seasonings
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • pinch of ground white pepper
  • some cooking wine

Water Chestnuts

In addition to the picture below, I have organized some information on water chestnuts on a separate page, simply click here to read the details.

    Water Chestnut

Though fresh chestnuts are preferred, they are not necessarily available all the times. In that case, use canned ones.


Rinse dried oysters and soften them in water for about an hour. Discard water. Rinse and peel off the skin of waterchestnuts. Finely chop oysters and waterchesnuts into small pieces. Now, every ingredient except lettuce should have been finely chopped.

Dried OysterLettuce Wrap Fillings

Marinade the meat with some soy sauce, corn starch and oil (see further elaborations put down by Misha and me in the comment section below).

Heat pan with about one table spoon of oil over low to medium heat. Saute garlic, ginger until fragrant. Add in marinaded ground pork and chopped oysters; sprinkle cooking wine while stir-frying them. Cook until the meat is done, then it is time to stir in water chestnuts and all remaining seasonings. As water chestnuts can be eaten raw, here we just need to briefly cook them with other ingredients. Dish up and enjoy.

Any preference on lettuce wraps?

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  1. Debs

    Your wraps look delicious. Interesting blog, I love chinese food and could in fact eat it everyday. A lot of the recipies on my blog are chinese too.

  2. TasteHongKong

    Hi Deb,
    No doubt I love Chinese foods only that I’m not that loyal, always greedily wish to sample different tastes, different styles.

  3. Anh

    So glad to find your blog. So inspiring!

  4. ABowlOfMush

    This looks so delicious!

  5. TasteHongKong

    Thanks Anh!

    Thanks ABowlOfMush!

  6. Sophia

    you’ve got AMAZING photography. Nice, clean, and crisp!
    I think Cheesecake Factory has a version sort of like this…but that’s imitation. I like yours because it sounds SO much more authentic and delicious!

  7. Cookie

    I love lettuce wraps especially in the summer since they’re so light and refreshing! We actually just had some as an appetizer last night but with chunks of chicken instead of pork. There was also water chestnuts in the mixture but unfortunately no oysters!

  8. TasteHongKong

    Sophia, am almost flattered. Thanks.

    Cookie, as you said in your blog ‘whatever flavor works’. Thanks.

  9. pigpigscorner

    This looks and sounds really refreshing with the lettuce! I like the idea of adding dried oysters.

  10. Sara

    This looks delicious!

  11. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Beautifully presented….always love those refreshing and crunchy lettuce wraps. Perfect to use up the leftover of Peking duck.
    Angie’s Recipes

  12. Alta

    Delicious! I love lettuce wraps. I’ve made a version similar to yours, with ground pork, cashews, and mushrooms. SO addictive! Your pics look wonderful.

  13. shaz

    I love water chestnuts – that pic of the fresh chestnuts is fantastic! I never thought of using oysters in the lettuce wraps (my mum used to use cook lotus root soup and put dried oysters in that).

  14. Anna

    Loved the idea, it looks really yummy and healthy.

  15. MaryMoh

    Looks really tempting. A creative way to eat salad. A very impressive party item.

  16. pierre

    Hello >Hong Kong this is Pierre from Paris in France ! beaitiful photos and great receipes I love your food blog bravo !!
    and if you want to see some french creative cuisine come and see me you are very welcome !! cheers Pierre

  17. Misha

    Sounds like a great recipe, and I love the tip. I am going to try this out tonight! For future reference, can you please indicate the amount of cornstarch, soy sauce, and oil to use in the meat marinade? Thank you!

  18. TasteHongKong

    Hi Misha,
    I just dusted some corn starch and a few droplets of soy sauce and oil, which I had loosely measured. Doing such is to help seal the flavor or meat, and you will add taste to the dish mainly by the seasonings. Enjoy and glad that you point it out.

  19. Dana Zia

    YUM! I have got to try these! I loved how you told about all the different types of lettuce wraps there are. Thank you. Dana

  20. Cat Ebeling

    I have been looking all over the web for a picture of lettuce wraps. May I use yours for my recipe book? I am happy to give you full credit.

  21. TasteHongKong

    @Cat Ebeling,
    Thank you for your kind interests. I would appreciate it if you could advise me the name of your book and the picture you are referring to. You may email me at tastehongkong[at]gmail[dot]com. Thank you!

  22. Sandy Pegs

    I had a fabulous Ken Hom recipe for this dish but lost it. Have been looking for a long time and yours is as good if not better! Many thanks.

  23. TasteHongKong

    @Sandy Pegs,
    Thanks for you kind compliments! And, letting me know you too enjoy this recipe as one from a cook book author.

  24. Eliza

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I remember another variety using quite similar ingredients as this. My mum used to cook it when she was still around then. I think is is called ‘meat biscuit’ (translate into Cantonese). It has mind pork, mushrooms, water chestnut, …. Steamed with ginger slices on top of it. Do you happen to have the full recipe for this?

  25. TasteHongKong

    My so-called recipe might have been ‘retired’. It requires me to chop (mince) the meat by a cleaver manually, which admittedly, is a better way (yielding a better texture) than grounding it by a food processor. Excuse me for this lazy response!

  26. Eliza

    Thanks for reply. Do you have more recipe using minced meat as an ingredient?

  27. Ana C.

    Hi, I made this the other night, and loved it. I added rehydrated mushrooms (冬菇), and actually made a mistake at the market and got dried mussels instead of oysters. It still tasted great! Thank you for helping me re-create the favorite dishes of my childhood!

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  32. L

    Hi, I was just wondering if it’s ok to use fresh oysters or frozen oysters instead of dried oysters for this dish. Please let me know. Thanks!

  33. TasteHongKong

    Please do not use fresh or frozen oysters, they won’t taste good if cut and cooked in this way.

  34. L

    Lol, thanks! Yes, I learned the hard way for this new year’s meal. 😉 it was a gloppy mess. Now I know why you guys use dried oysters! Have to find where I can get them where I live! Thanks! We like the flavor of it though! Happy New Year!

  35. TasteHongKong

    Happy New Year!
    Just want to let you know we buy dried oysters in stores that sells dried sea foods, like dried scallops, dried shrimps, or even dried Chinese mushrooms. Good luck!