Aggie's Kitchen

Chinese 5-Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps

wooden plate with lettuce wraps stuffed with ground turkey, water chestnuts, and chopped green onion
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(I have to thank a reader seeking out this recipe – that was originally posted on another site – for letting me know the link to that recipe was no longer active. I’m bringing an older post up to the surface today, with the full recipe included. Have a great week! PS…thank you to all who commented on my last post on blog burnout, I appreciate every single one of you!)


Originally posted on January 11, 2012.

Note to self: make lettuce wraps more often at home.

Seriously people, don’t you just love lettuce wraps? Why do I always forget about them?? I’m obsessed with the ones at PF Changs (the vegetarian tofu ones are awesome for first-time tofu tasting!) and have had the copykat recipe bookmarked for them for years, but never got around to it.

Well, these probably aren’t as good as theirs, but they are still good. And they are low carb, and diet friendly. And you just feel good after eating them.

Here are the cast of characters that made these lettuce wraps possible…

from left to right: organic blue agave syrup, five-spice powder, black bean sauce, tamari sauce, and rice vinegar

I like to keep the Asian section of my pantry and fridge stocked up for meals like this. For this recipe I cooked with lean ground turkey breast, and if you’ve cooked with lean ground turkey breast then you know that it can be kinda…well, kinda plain.

Chinese five-spice powder is still new to me and I really like it (I’ve made it on this fish before and it was awesome). It’s interesting…and unique. I sprinkled it over the turkey breast while it was browning with some onions and carrots. Nakano rice vinegar is pretty much a staple whenever I’m cooking up Asian because it just adds so much flavor and brightens things up without any calories, fat, etc etc. I combined the rice vinegar, tamari, black bean sauce and agave into a sauce mixture and added it to the meat toward the end of cooking to develop and finish off the filling.

wooden plate with lettuce wraps stuffed with ground turkey, water chestnuts, and chopped green onion

My entire family loved these turkey lettuce wraps. This is the only time my son eats lettuce, the excitement he has over lettuce wraps is mind boggling since he is so anti-salad. If that’s not a reason for making them more often I don’t know what is.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Chinese 5-Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps


Chinese 5-Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • Author: Aggie's Kitchen
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Ground Turkey
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 lb ground lean turkey breast
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon 5 Spice Powder
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons black bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • chile garlic or chile sauce (like sriracha), for serving
  • Boston or iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • shredded slaw mix (optional)
  • chopped green onions (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook for about 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Add ground turkey to pan. Using a wooden spoon, break up ground turkey and sprinkle 5 spice powder over meat. Continue to cook until cooked through completely, about 7 minutes.
  2. While turkey is cooking, combine tamari, rice vinegar, black bean sauce, agave, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Add sauce to ground turkey during the last few minutes of cooking and combine.
  3. To serve scoop ground meat mixture into lettuce leaves, top with slaw mix, green onions and chili sauce.

(Disclosure: I have received products and compensation from Nakano in the past, but my opinions are always my own. I developed this recipe using their product, but Nakano is a product you would already find in my home.)

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44 comments on “Chinese 5-Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps”

  1. Lettuce wraps make me do the limp-armed rubber chicken. In other words, MOOOOOOOM IIIIII WAAAAAAAAAANNNNTTTTTTTT IIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTT.

  2. I DO love lettuce wraps! I always forget about them, but everyone in my house loves them. I need to make them waaaaay more often. Yours look delicious!

  3. I’ve never used five spice because I’m a scaredy cat but I’m goin to have to change that. Lettuce wraps are where it’s at!

  4. Lettuce wraps with TURKEY – finally!!! I am so making these soon. Nom.

  5. These look so good! Definitely going to have to make these, especially since the hubby has a lot of lettuce growing in the garden!

  6. I adore lettuce wraps, too and really need to give myself the reminder to make them more often. Your version sounds wonderful and I’ll bet they rival P.F. Chang’s any day of the week.

  7. They look great! I made a similar recipe once and was a little let down. I’m not a fan of something in the five spice powder…. bah!

  8. These look super delish and healthy too . My kids love spring rolls and I think this might be a healthier option ! Love the pics. Will definately try this out ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing !

  9. Lettuce wraps = winner. Love this mix of flavors!

  10. You remind me how delicious lettuce wraps can be and these look fantastic:)

  11. I have fond memories of my Mum making sang choy bow for us as kids, your recipe reminds me of that. They look just beautiful.

  12. I love lettuce wraps too!! They’re so fresh and delicious – – I’m going to have to give these a try ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. These look amazing!! We love chicken wraps, I wonder if I can convince Curtis to try turkey! Thank you!

  14. I am the same way – I love lettuce wraps but always forget about them. These look fantastic!!

  15. I am like everyone else. I forget about making lettuce wraps. I saw lettuce wraps tacos yesterday and now these. Pinning.

  16. I want, I want, I want!!! I think I may have these for our supper tonight! Gorgeous!

  17. These look amazing, and I love that you used turkey! Excellent post!!

  18. We love lettuce wraps, too. And, I am definitely trying these. They look fantastic!

  19. Yum! l love lettuce wraps! These look delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I made these last night and they were delicious, definitely getting a “keeper” tag in my Evernote recipe box, per my husband’s recommendation.

    I wanted to thank you for inspiring me to start the 17-day diet. I was reading about nutrition on Zite on New Year’s Eve when your blog popped up. I was intrigued by the cleansing aspect of the diet after a fantastically filling holiday. Also, your recipes helped to make me excited about a lean protein and veggie diet, because it showed me the tasty possibilities. So far, my family has eaten four of your recipes over the last 13 days and enjoyed every single one of them. And, by day 13, I’ve lost nine pounds! So thank you so much.

    • I just reposted this recipe and realized I never replied to your comment (though maybe via email??)…
      Anyway I want to say thank you for letting me know about the recipes you tried, the weight you lost and how you found me, I love it all! I hope you are doing and feeling well!

  21. Yum! We had lettuce wraps as part of our Christmas Day appetizer extravaganza, and everyone loved them. I have a huge arsenal of Asian condiments in my pantry, and these are a great way to mix and match them. Thanks for reminding me to make them again!

  22. I just had the chicken satay lettuce tacos at Cheesecake Factory last weekend and have thought about them a lot ever since – so much so I found the copycat recipe online. I loved the sauces that came with them – they are pretty much what made them so yummy!

  23. ooh, those look delish. thanks for the links too!

  24. Aggie…I love lettuce wraps too! Since starting my low carb new year kick off 8 days ago, I’ve been eating them for many of my meals. I’ve had steak lettuce wraps and paprika chicken lettuce wraps (a couple days each). I love how filling and satisfying they are without being over the top!

    I also have the 5 spice powder but didn’t know what to use it on, or how to cook with it. Like you I use a lot of the Nakano rice vinegar. LOVE it!!

    I’m happy to report I’m already down 3 lbs and feeling so much better already. Isn’t it amazing how eating right fuels our body so well?

  25. Yum! I love lettuce wraps. These look delish!

  26. Lettuce wraps are wonderful and such a versatile vessel…these are fantastic!

  27. I just love lettuce wraps, and you’re so right. Why don’t I make them more often?! This recipe is going on my must make this week list ๐Ÿ˜€

  28. Super delicious and super healthy – love these!

  29. Love the flavor combination of this healthy lettuce wrap. I know that asian cooking has always a compliment of sugar, salty, sour, etc and living here in HK use it frequently. However, I have not used organic blue agave but think I should give it a try. Can you taste the differences in your dishes when you use it?

    • I’ve been using the agave nectar for many years, so I don’t notice a specific ‘taste’…for me it just adds sweetness. You can easily substitute honey or sugar (or your sweetener of choice!) for it. Enjoy!

  30. Anything in lettuce wraps is my favorite! Great recipe, Aggie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Ok we make lettuce wraps almost weekly but I’ve never added 5 spice which is my favorite!! Mind = Blown.

  32. Need this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so delicious!

  33. I hate when I go to look for a recipe I made and its no longer there!! These look so good. Perfect for a summer meal too. Hope you’re having a good week. Yayy for summer and more time with the kiddos headed your way!

  34. Great recipe, I cannot wait to try it! lots of love C

  35. These wraps look awesome! It always makes me laugh that my anti-salad kid will eat something wrapped in a crunchy lettuce leaf, but won’t eat that same leaf of lettuce if it is chopped into bites. Silly kids. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  36. I can’t think of a more perfect summer dinner! Thanks for sharing!

  37. Nice recipe. Thank you.

  38. I’ve never tried lettuce wraps so far, but will definitely do after your blog post! Looks awesome!

  39. We order the lettuce wraps nearly every time we go to PF Changs but I’ve never made them at home. Why? I have no idea! I have to try this!

  40. Those look unbelievably good. I love the amount of flavor you packed in your ingredient list!