Pad Thai Shrimp Lettuce Cups: A Flavorful Twist on a Classic Dish

Pad Thai Shrimp Lettuce Cups

Pad Thai Shrimp Lettuce Cups offer a delightful fusion of Thai flavors and fresh ingredients, creating a light and refreshing dish perfect for any occasion. This recipe puts a unique spin on traditional Pad Thai by using crisp lettuce cups as a vessel for the savory shrimp filling. Let’s dive into the details of crafting this culinary masterpiece!

Ingredients Needed

For the shrimp:

  • Fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Lime juice
  • Brown sugar

For the sauce:

  • Rice vinegar
  • Fish sauce
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Fresh ginger, grated
  • Red pepper flakes

Additional ingredients:

  • Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • Bean sprouts
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Preparation Steps

Marinating the shrimp:

Begin by combining the minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the marinade, ensuring they are well-coated. Allow the shrimp to marinate for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Making the sauce:

In a separate bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, peanut butter, grated ginger, and red pepper flakes until smooth and well combined. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more sriracha for heat or peanut butter for creaminess.

Preparing the lettuce cups:

Carefully separate the leaves of the bibb or butter lettuce, rinsing and drying them thoroughly. Arrange them on a serving platter, ready to be filled with the flavorful shrimp mixture.

Cooking Process

Cooking the shrimp:

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of sesame oil. Once hot, add the marinated shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp to maintain their tender texture.

Assembling the lettuce cups:

Once the shrimp are cooked through, remove them from the skillet and set aside. To assemble the lettuce cups, place a spoonful of cooked shrimp onto each lettuce leaf, followed by a sprinkle of bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, and fresh cilantro. Drizzle the prepared sauce over the top and garnish with lime wedges for a burst of citrus flavor.

Serving and Presentation Tips

Serve Pad Thai Shrimp Lettuce Cups immediately, allowing guests to assemble their own cups for a fun and interactive dining experience. Pair them with a side of steamed rice or a refreshing cucumber salad for a complete meal. For an added touch, garnish the platter with additional cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts for an eye-catching presentation.

Variations and Substitutions

Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Substitute tofu or chicken for shrimp to create vegetarian or poultry-friendly versions of the dish. You can also adjust the level of spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of sriracha sauce used in the sauce.

Health Benefits of Pad Thai Shrimp Lettuce Cups

Pad Thai Shrimp Lettuce Cups are not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits. Shrimp is an excellent source of lean protein, while lettuce provides essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the sauce contains healthy fats from peanut butter and sesame oil, contributing to heart health and satiety.


1. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can marinate the shrimp and prepare the sauce in advance, storing them separately in the refrigerator until ready to use. When you’re ready to serve, simply cook the shrimp and assemble the lettuce cups for a quick and easy meal.

2. Are there any gluten-free options for this recipe?

Yes, you can use tamari sauce in place of soy sauce to ensure the recipe is gluten-free. Additionally, be sure to check the labels on other ingredients, such as fish sauce and sriracha sauce, to verify they are gluten-free as well.

3. Can I add additional vegetables to the filling?

Certainly! Feel free to incorporate thinly sliced bell peppers, shredded carrots, or diced cucumber for extra crunch and flavor. Get creative and customize the filling to suit your taste preferences!

4. How should I store leftovers?

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. To reheat, gently warm the shrimp in a skillet over low heat until heated through, being careful not to overcook them.

5. Can I use a different type of lettuce for the cups?

While bibb or butter lettuce works best for its soft and pliable leaves, you can certainly use other types of lettuce, such as romaine or iceberg. Just be sure to choose sturdy leaves that can hold the filling without tearing.

What do you think?

Written by recipesclub

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