Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mini Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Thai Mini Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, served with wedges of fresh lime - a bite-size explosion of flavors!

If you're looking for a deliciously different appetizer, try making up a platter of these Thai Shrimp Mini Lettuce Wraps! These bite-size wraps are just perfect for a party finger food (great with beer, as well as wine and cocktails). Each mini wrap provides a burst of Thai flavors that are meant to hit different parts of the palate all at once. Based on the traditional Thai appetizer 'Miang Kum' (see link below), this fresh Thai appetizer is sure to be a hit with Thai food fans, or anyone who has an adventurous spirit for spicy and flavorful foods. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes


  • MAKES a platter of 10-12 wraps (serves 3-6 people as an appetizer)
  • 1 (packed) cup cooked baby shrimp
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, OR 1 package prepared romain lettuce leaves
  • 1/3 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut (baking type)
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts, ground or finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced up very finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tsp. grated galangal OR ginger
  • 1 fresh red chili, minced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
  • 1/2 tsp. regular chili powder (Mexican type is fine)
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in the Asian section of your supermarket, or at Asian stores)
  • 3 Tbsp. good-quality coconut milk
  • 1/2 to 1 fresh lime, sliced into wedges
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro)


  1. Place coconut in a dry wok or frying pan set over medium-high heat. 'Dry-fry' it by stirring continually until it turns light golden-brown and is fragrant. Immediately transfer your toasted coconut to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Whether you're using fresh or frozen baby shrimp, make sure they are well drained (gently squeeze out any excess water with your hands). If using larger shrimp, chop them up small. Place shrimp in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add most of the ground or finely chopped peanuts to the mixing bowl, reserving 1 Tbsp. for garnish.
  4. Now add the spring onions, garlic, galangal or ginger, chili, chili powder, sugar, and fish sauce. Stir or toss everything together well in the bowl.
  5. Add the coconut milk and gently stir again.
  6. Finally, add the toasted coconut, reserving 1 Tbsp. for garnish. Stir again.
  7. Taste-test this mixture - you should taste a combination of spicy and salty, plus a hint of sweetness (there will also be a slight sour note later when the lime juice is added). If you'd like it saltier, add a little more fish sauce. If too sour for your taste, add a little more sugar. If you're prefer more coconut flavor, add 1 more Tbsp. coconut milk (don't add too much though, or it will soak through the lettuce leaves - you want a sandwich-spread like consistency).
  8. To assemble the appetizer, chop off the tops of 10-12 romain lettuce leaves (3 to 4 inch pieces) and set on a platter. Scoop 1 heaping Tbsp. of the shrimp mixture onto each leaf. Now top each one with a sprinkling of the reserved ground peanuts and toasted coconut. Add a final sprinkling of fresh coriander, and serve with the lime wedges (set these in a small pile in the middle of the platter). When ready to eat, squeeze some lime over the shrimp mixture, then wrap up and enjoy a bite-size explosion of Thai flavors!

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