Rachel's Table

Boston Lettuce Wraps are BOSS

I don’t ever remember describing anything as “boss” when I was a youngster, even though I grew up in the 80s. Maybe I just wasn’t cool enough. This could be true since I just found an amazingly not cool photo of me as an 11-year-old. (If you’re reading this while standing up, I admonish you to sit down. You will fall over from laughter. Or shock.)

I don’t know if I can show it to you…

…I just can’t…

…It’s too amazing NOT to share…

…EVERYONE was awkward at some point as a child, right?…

…Maybe not THIS awkward…

…Okay, here goes…introducing 11-year-old, child of the 80s Rachel…

Rachel, circa 1987. So much to look at–the hair, the crooked glasses, the teeth. Oh my.

(Thank you, Mom and Dad, for loving me enough to put braces on my teeth. Twice. Yes, it took two tries.)

You can see how far I’ve come, which brings me to this recipe. A few years ago while cooking, I looked and felt like that skinny little girl with the bright blue clip in her permed hair–awkward and unsure, but still smiling and giving it a try. Now I feel more like…me. I like to try new things but add my own spin to recipes.

Take these Boston Lettuce Wraps for example. I’m eating locally so I wanted to see if I could turn the lettuce from my garden, local chicken thighs, spring onions and mushrooms into something spicy with an Asian flavor. Success! This recipe is delicious and so flavorful (adapted from Iowa Girl Eats; Iowa Girl also rocks. I love her blog!).

Totally BOSS Boston Lettuce Wraps

1.5 pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (use tofu and water chestnuts to make it vegetarian)

Cooking oil – vegetable works best for this recipe

Dash of kosher salt and pepper

1 sweet onion

About 12 crimini mushrooms, diced on the smaller side

2 carrots, peeled and diced on the smaller side

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (more if you like it really spicy)

2 Tablespoons honey (local of course!)

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

1 Tablespoon water

3 Tablespoons natural peanut butter

Boston lettuce leaves, I had about 12 nice-sized leaves in my garden ready for picking

5 spring onions, sliced

A handful of cilantro for garnish

Rachel’s Asian Sauce:

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons local honey

1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce

Heat oil in large skillet or wok (I busted out my wok since I use it so rarely) over high heat. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with a dash of kosher salt and pepper. Add chicken to the wok and cook through. You might want to turn the heat down to medium high. Set chicken aside.

Raw chicken never looks appetizing

Add the onions to the same skillet or wok. Stir and cook for a couple minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, and mushrooms. Allow to cook for five minutes or so until veggies are just tender.

My Asian miripoix

In the meantime, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, honey, sesame oil, peanut butter, and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow this to hang out while you turn your attention to the veggies.

Spicy, salty, saucy goodness

Now add the chicken back to the wok and pour the sauce over the chicken and veggie goodness. Heat through before putting in a serving dish.

Filling for Totally BOSS Boston Lettuce Wraps

Serve with spring onions, cilantro, and the special sauce. I served a side dish of oven-roasted snap peas with mine. Just add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and a sprinkling of soy sauce to a pound or so of snap peas. Place in a 475 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes until browning but still crisp. (I’ve done this with olive oil and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce when I didn’t have any sesame oil in the pantry. It works just as well.)

Don’t be jealous of my awesome smiley face spatula

Local, yet Asian feast

More special sauce please!

The husband and I devoured this meal. I ate way too much. Cooking and then eating these Totally BOSS Boston Lettuce Wraps made me feel less like 1987 Rachel and more like this:

I wonder if Lynda Carter can cook…


  1. Nicole

    I can’t decide if I love this blog more for the recipe or 80’s Rachel. Actually, who am I kidding? That pic will never get old. And those lettuce wraps look extremely boss. (I’ve never used that word so I hope it worked)

  2. Toni DiChiara

    Too funny…because I just told my husband that I was going to find a recipe for lettuce wraps this week. He was like, huh???? Thanks for making it easy!

  3. Toni DiChiara

    Yes, that is how I remember you. Beautiful then…gorgeous now! I’ll let you know what the family thinks of the new recipe.

  4. Brandy Miller

    Rachel- your blog is a pleasure to read! The pic you posted is so cute- we all have those crazy akward school photos! Thanks for sharing!

    • Brandy! Thank you! And thanks for actually saying the photo is “cute.” Haha. A face only a mother could love! So glad you stopped by and that you enjoy the blog. πŸ™‚

  5. Ya, ah, this post is Boss! I just shared it on our company FB for Caramelize Life and said “This recipe is awesome and writing is entertaining. Check the Wonder Woman shot”–That’s how you should feel after creating a Bossin meal Rachel! Cheers, G @ Caramelize Life

  6. Rachel, I’m SUCH a blonde! I read this a day or two ago but couldn’t comment at the time, and then I thought I did, and well, yeah. This is AMAZING. Did Angie (Childhood Relieved) ever see this?! We soooo would have been friends in middle school, too. We would have grown boss together.

    I also love lettuce wraps, so this post makes me happy on every level.

    • I just posted it to Angie’s blog (now freshly pressed, way to go, Angie!). I have so many more I could send her. I def had an awkward decade. In middle school, you would have rocked your blonde side pony while my permed and crunchy brunette hair would have been teased into a banana clip. Oh, the memories we would have made…

      Also, thanks for the follow! I kind of feel like one of the cool kids now. πŸ˜‰

      • She was Freshly Pressed?! Ooh! Thanks for the heads up – I’ve gotta congratulate her! Sometimes I forget to check Freshly Pressed (shh, don’t tell the WordPress overlords)!

        I would LOVE to see those pictures. I definitely have some that would make you weep. NOT in the good way.

        You are SO one of the cool kids…except for your association with me, LOL!

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