Frozen dumplings make these Dumpling Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce a snap. You won’t go wrong with this flavorful, super versatile appetizer or light main. Yum!
The sky is the limit for building the flavors you enjoy. I used vegetarian dumplings filled with cabbage, tofu and ginger. Pork or shrimp dumplings would be great too. Even pot stickers or won tons would work. The main ingredient is the dumplings – actually frozen or pre-made dumplings – to keep things quick and simple. After that it’s up to you – the wrap, the sauce/drizzle and the garnishes. My only suggestion is to work in a crunch factor with a garnish or two.
These lettuce wraps with peanut sauce make a great starter or appetizer, but you can also try serving them with vegetable rice paper rolls and our Asian Vegetable Won Ton Soup for a light low calorie meal.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use any kind of dumpling, pot sticker or won ton you like or have on hand. Pan fry or boil them as you prefer.
- Use Boston Bibb, iceberg or butter lettuce. Or try savoy cabbage (as pictured). If you prefer a softer wrap, use lettuce.
- I used nuts, lemon, carrots and cilantro as garnishes. Other options are: bean sprouts, alfafa sprouts, pea shoots, chopped cucumber or radish.
- Instead of cashews, try toasted pine nuts, peanuts or sesame seeds.
- Instead of peanut sauce, drizzle with a soy-based mixture – 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, pinch of fresh ginger and a minced green onion.
When you’re short on time, use:
- frozen dumplings
- store-bought peanut sauce instead of homemade peanut sauce
- store-bought sweet chili sauce or teriyaki drizzle
- buy pre-roasted nuts and pre-grated carrots
Make Ahead Dumpling Lettuce Wraps With Peanut Sauce
- Both the dumplings and peanut sauce can be made ahead. Just add a few drops of oil before covering and storing them in the fridge to prevent them from sticking to each other. Warm them in a microwave for a minute or so. Peanut sauce can be left at room temperature. Garnishes can be prepared ahead as well. Assemble wraps when you’re ready to serve.
Dumpling Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce (shortcut)
- 10 small frozen or fresh dumplings or pot stickers (or 6-8 larger ones)
- oil (if pan frying dumplings)
- 4 lettuce (Boston Bibb, butter, iceberg) or savoy cabbage leaves
- GARNISHES: e.g. 1/4 cup toasted crushed cashews or peanuts; 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, shredded carrots and/or minced green onions; lemon/lime slices
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- lemon or lime juice to taste (1-2 tsp)
- sriracha hot sauce to taste (optional)
- PREPARE LETTUCE AND GARNISHES. To toast nuts, shake in dry pan over medium heat until light brown and toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and roughly chop.
- COOK FROZEN DUMPLINGS: Cook dumplings (or potstickers) according to package directions. You can boil (4-5 minutes) or pan fry (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
- MAKE PEANUT SAUCE: Whisk together all ingredients for peanut sauce until creamy smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and level of heat (if using hot sauce). This can be made ahead.
- ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Cut dumplings in half or thirds (or keep whole if preferred). Place equivalent of 4-5 halves small dumplings in each lettuce leaf. Drizzle on peanut sauce. Sprinkle with garnishes (carrots, green onion, nuts, and/or cilantro). Serve on cutting board, platter or individual plates. Pass lime/lemon slices to squeeze on top if desired.
- Make Ahead: Dumplings can be made ahead and kept covered in the fridge for several hours, adding a few drops of oil to prevent sticking to each other. Warm them in the microwave on High for a minute or so before assembling. Peanut sauce and garnishes can also be prepared ahead.
Here’s another lettuce wrap you might like:
PF Chang-style Chicken Lettuce Wraps get the recipe