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Sticky Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 216
honey garlic shrimp lettuce cups with sticky sweet marinated shrimp asian cabbage slaw in butter lettuce on a plate

Coated in a sticky sauce of honey, garlic, chili sauce and fresh ginger, these succulent shrimp lettuce wraps are a speedy, satisfying supper.

Homemade Shrimp Wraps? UH, Yes Please!

What this speedy, satisfying dinner lacks in carbs it more than makes up for in big big flavor—just the way we like it! Crisp, crunchy lettuce makes a light, fresh bed for absolutely the most flavorful shrimp we’ve possibly ever made. The soy sauce-based honey-garlic sauté sauce that the shrimp are cooked in—just that it’s essentially piled with every single one of our favorite flavors. Nutritious, ready in a flash, and the kind of thing you love so much you want to eat it every night—this shrimp wrap recipe is one for the books.

raw shrimp on a plate next to butter lettuce, cabbage slaw, cilantro soy sauce, Sesame oil, Chili sauce, Brown sugar, honey
soy sauce, Sesame oil, Chili sauce, Brown sugar, honey, minced Garlic, minced ginger mixed in a little bowl for a marinade

What’s Sticky Shrimp?

It’s what we call these juicy, plump, sauce-slicked shrimp! They’re coated in an insanely yummy sweet-savory-spicy sauce that hits all the spots, and because it has cornstarch, honey and brown sugar in it, it really does stick to the shrimp—it coats them in the best way. Yum. Here’s what you’ll need to make these delightfully sticky, speedy sautéed shrimp:

  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Sesame oil
  • Chili sauce, like sambal oelek
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Fresh garlic and ginger
  • Cornstarch
  • Shrimp
soy sauce, Sesame oil, Chili sauce, Brown sugar, honey, Garlic, ginger sautéed in a pan for shrimp lettuce cups
honey garlic shrimp sautéed in a pan for sticky sweet homemade shrimp lettuce cups

What Is The Best Lettuce for Making Lettuce Wraps? Drumroll, Please!

We’ve covered this before, but what the heck—we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again! The very best lettuce on earth for making shrimp lettuce wraps is, hands down, butter lettuce! AKA bibb lettuce, AKA Boston bibb lettuce, this buttery, tender lettuce is ideal for making lettuce wraps because of its cupped shape and relative sturdiness. We also love that it has a nice flavor—no bitterness at all, just a nice mild sweetness to compliment the sticky shrimp.

honey garlic shrimp sautéed in a pan for sticky sweet homemade shrimp lettuce cups
honey garlic shrimp lettuce cups with sticky sweet marinated shrimp asian cabbage slaw in butter lettuce

How to Clean Shrimp

Time to get your hands dirty! Learning how to peel and devein shrimp can seem like a daunting task, but it’s really pretty simple. Also, it’s not technically necessary to devein your shrimp, so if you want to skip it, you can. The “vein” is the shrimp’s digestive tract, and it can have a little sand or grit in it sometimes, so we like to remove it.

  • Defrost! Defrost your shrimp in a bowl of cold water in the fridge.
  • Peel! Drain the shrimp. Begin to peel the shrimp by holding the shrimp in one hand and use your other hand to peel off the legs. Once the legs have been removed, you can take the shrimp shell off by peeling it, beginning from where you took off the legs.
  • To keep the tail on—we like to leave the shrimp tail-on— just hold it firmly in place with one hand while you peel the shell of the body of the shrimp with your other hand.
  • To remove the vein, hold the shrimp with the back side up. Use a sharp, small knife (like a paring knife) or a shrimp deveiner to make a shallow cut along the vein (the dark line that runs along the back of the shrimp). Once you've made the incision, use the tip of the knife to scrape out the vein.
  • Done! Time to get cooking!
honey garlic shrimp lettuce cups with sticky sweet marinated shrimp asian cabbage slaw in butter lettuce

More Speedy Shrimp Recipes to Try!

Now that you’re a shrimp cleaning pro, you might be feeling emboldened to branch out and cook more shrimp! We’re all for that. Here are a few shrimp recipes we’ve been making a lot lately:

Tools You’ll Need:

honey garlic shrimp lettuce cups with sticky sweet marinated shrimp asian cabbage slaw in butter lettuce on a plate
honey garlic shrimp lettuce cups with sticky sweet marinated shrimp asian cabbage slaw in butter lettuce

Lettuce Wraps To The Rescue!

Try these shrimp lettuce wraps, and let us know how you like them, OK? Because we’re pretty convinced that you’re going to love them. Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Sticky Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 216

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce, such as Sambal Oelek
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger, from a 1-inch piece
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined, tails removed
  • 1 (13 ounce) bag Asian chopped cabbage salad/slaw kit (dressing packet discarded)
  • 1-2 heads butter lettuce, about 20 leaves
  • cilantro, chopped, optional
  • sesame seeds, optional

Method

  1. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water. In a separate small bowl mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, brown sugar, honey, garlic and ginger. Stir in the cornstarch slurry to the sauce mixture.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sauce to the pan. When the sauce begins to simmer, add the shrimp and cook until the sauce thickens and the shrimp is opaque, about 5-8 minutes.

  3. Fill each butter lettuce leaf with a small amount of the chopped cabbage/slaw, add a scoop of the shrimp, sprinkle with cilantro, sesame seeds and a little extra sauce if desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories216
  • Protein23 g
  • Carbohydrates20 g
  • Total Fat4 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol220 mg
  • sodium1487 mg
  • Total Sugars14 g

Sticky Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jeanette Field

    I was thinking of making a cucumber salad to go with these, is there anything else you recommend?

    Our Fried rice would be a yummy addition as well!

  • Sarah L

    Made these tonight. So good and so so flavorful. Highly recommend. My cooking time was more like 3 minutes for 16-20/lb sized shrimp. Can’t wait to make again. If someone wants extra sauce I would recommend doubling the sauce.

    Thanks Sarah, so happy you loved them!

  • Jenelle DesMarais

    These were very tasty and quick to make. I think I'd add a little less sambal oleek next time as they were a little spicy but not too bad. This would be a fun meal when having people over as they assemble their own food.

    Thanks Jenelle! Happy you enjoyed them and they would definitely make a fun party idea!

  • DJ Sista Whitenoise

    Made these tonight and loved them. So easy! I added a few sprigs of fresh thai basil to each wrap for some extra flavor.

    Basil sounds like a lovely addition!