I love Chicken Larb in lettuce cups from the Thai restaurant. But is it possible to make a spectacular Whole30/paleo version?  Here again we took inspiration from the 30-Minute Paleo Meals cookbook, although my version has mushrooms, charred and chopped Fresno peppers, and is served in butter lettuce. We sautéed 1/2 light and 1/2 dark chicken meat with lime in sesame oil, then added shallots and all kinds of herbs. The chicken meat sautéed in the toasted sesame oil is so sumptuous, and the addition of shallots, cilantro, basil, mint, and scallions takes it over the top. Because the original recipe didn’t come with a dipping sauce (and who doesn’t love a dipping sauce?), I borrowed  @iheartumami.ny’s paleo Shumai sauce, but made it Whole30 by substituting hot sauce for the chili oil.  This is the kind of thing I could eat every single day.  A star was born!

[recipe title=”Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups” print=”true” ]



  • 2 large limes, juiced
  • 1 lb ground chicken, 1/2 light meat and 1/2 dark meat
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp fish sauce, optional
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2-4 Fresno peppers (depending on heat), blackened, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Butter lettuce
  • Dipping sauce (see below)

In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice and ground meat and mix well. Set aside.

In a sauté pan, heat sesame oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots, stirring constantly and cooking until lightly brown, translucent or about 7 minutes. Then deglaze the pan with a couple of dashes of coconut aminos. Then add red pepper and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the marinated meat, cooking until meat is crumbled and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add salt, fresno peppers, crushed red pepper flakes and stir. Remove from heat.

When ready to serve, stir cilantro, Thai basil, mint and scallions into the cooked meat. Spoon into butter lettuce cups and serve.

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (Whole30 compliant, I used Tessemae’s)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger

In a mason jar, combine all dressing ingredients and shack to mix well.