Chicken Yuk Sung is our favourite healthy Chinese snack.
Yuk Sung, also known as Chinese Lettuce Wraps, are a fun hand held dish popularly served at Chinese restaurants as an appetizer to share at the table.
Our homemade Chicken Yuk Sung recipe is quick & easy to make, ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
We love serving these flavourful lettuce wraps at summer potlucks and birthday parties as they only require a napkin. No plates to clean up? Yes please!
Our Healthy Chicken Yuk Sung recipe features simple and affordable ingredients like garlic, ginger, onion, scallions, chicken breasts, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, carrots, sesame oil and crunchy green lettuce.
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What Is Chicken Yuk Sung?
Yuk Sung is a popular Chinese hand held dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. It feels like you’re eating a salad with your hands!
Yuk Sung, also known as Chinese Lettuce Wraps, typically feature ground pork or finely chopped chicken. The meat frys in a skillet with minced garlic, ginger, scallions, carrot and Chinese flavourings like soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice wine vinegar.
Once the meat filling has cooled to room temperature it’s scooped into individual lettuce leaves and and topped with crunchy deep fried vermicelli noodles.
Some authentic Chicken Yuk Sung recipes also feature water chestnuts.
Travel to Asia by Cooking Chicken Yuk Sung at Home
I love traveling through Asia.
My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout southeast Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Growing up in Markham, home to Canada’s largest community of Hong Kongers, helped me fall in love with Chicken Yuk Sung at a young age. The dish is commonly served at Chinese restaurants, of which there are a plethora in Vancouver, Mississaugua, Scarborough, Markham and Montreal.
I’ve eaten my way through some of Hong Kong’s best Cantonese restaurants during my 5 visits to the bustling East Asian city. After chowing down on Yuk Sung in HK it became one of my favourite Chinese restaurant dishes to order at home in Oakville whenever my family ordered takeout.
Whether you’ve gobbled up crunchy Chinese Lettuce Wraps on holiday in Asia or at your favourite Chinatown eatery, it’s no wonder the healthy appetizer is revered around the world as one of the best handheld salads.
My Family Loves Chinese Lettuce Wraps
My family has always loved ordering Chinese takeout. It helped that we lived in Markham with so many Asian restaurant options at our doorstep.
We typically order Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve as my mom likes to avoid having to do a lot of dishes around the holidays. Christmas dinner takes an entire day for us to prepare so enjoying take out the night before the big day is a yummy tradition, which involves very little clean up!
I love asking friends what their families favourite Thai, Indian or Chinese takeout orders were growing up. So much of our love for food is passed down by our parents. When a friend mentions a family-favourite Chinese takeout dish I’ve ever tried I always add it to my to do list!
My family’s classic Chinese takeout order always included Egg Rolls, Crispy Ginger Beef, Singapore Chow Mei Fun and Chicken Yuk Sung Lettuce Wraps.
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Where To Eat Chicken Yuk Sung
If you live in a large North American city you’ll likely have access to a local Chinese restaurant that serves a traditional Chicken Yuk Sung
Haven’t traveled to China, Taiwan or Hong Kong before? It may be helpful to first sample Chicken Yuk Sung at a local Chinese restaurant to better understand how it is served. You can assess the variety of vegetables used in the filling, ideal thickness of the sauce and the best way to present the lettuce wraps at the table.
In Toronto, popular Chinese restaurants that may serve an authentic Chicken Yuk Sung recipe include Not Just Noodles, Rol San, Chop Chop, Swatow, Hutaoli, Yueh Tung Hakka Restaurant and Crown Princess.
Our easy Chicken Yuk Sung recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemicals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
An excellent source of vitamin A and the phytochemical beta-carotene, carrots help keep your eyes and bones healthy, and may help protect against several types of cancer.
Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.
A useful source of copper, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, sesame seeds help support circulatory, digestive and skeletal health.
Lettuce is one of the most widely consumed vegetables worldwide, but its nutritional value has been underestimated. Lettuce is low in calories, fat and sodium. It is a good source of fibre, iron, folate, and vitamin C. Lettuce is also a good source of various other health-beneficial bioactive compounds.
Chinese Lettuce Wraps Recipe Cooking Tips
This restaurant-style Chicken Yuk Sung recipe is quick and easy to make at home.
- We suggest preparing the filling in a large wok to avoid splatter when cooking.
- Our Chicken Yuk Sung recipe features traditional vegetables like garlic, ginger, onion, carrot, and scallions. Once you’ve mastered our recipe feel free to get creative in your kitchen by adding other healthy vegetables like water chestnuts, bean sprouts, mushrooms or broccoli.
- The chicken and vegetables should be chopped so they are uniform in size. This makes it easy to eat the wraps with your hands.
- If you like spicy food feel free to add some chopped chili to the filling or top with Chinese chili crisp.
- We’ve used chicken breast in this recipe but you can substitute for chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Yuk Sung is traditionally served in a fresh and crunchy green lettuce. You can also use Boston lettuce or Iceberg lettuce. Just ensure the leaves fit in the palm of your hand and aren’t too big. You should be able to fit 3 on a dinner plate as pictured below.
What To Serve with Chicken Yuk Sung
We love making Chicken Yuk Sung at parties when we’re hosting friends and family.
If you’re hosting a party they’re a great hand held appetizer or snack that can be passed around with napkins and don’t require a plate.
Healthy Chinese Lettuce Wraps are easy to make ahead as you can prepare the filling a day in advance and assembly takes just a few minutes.
I like to double the recipe so I have leftovers as these are a favourite quick & easy leftover lunch.
If you’re hosting a Chinese-themed dinner party serve Chicken Yuk Sung as an appetizer alongside:
- Singapore Chow Mei Fun Noodles
- Spicy Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup
- Easy Homemade Chinese Wonton Egg Drop Soup
- Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup
- Green Onion Cake Cong You Bing
- Vegan Chinese Cucumber Salad
- Sweet and Sour Pork Meatball
You May Also Enjoy These Chicken Recipes…
- Moroccan Chicken Lentil Stew Rfissa
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- Japanese Ponzu Chicken Stir Fry
- Khai Jiao Thai Ground Chicken Omelet
- Crispy Roast Chicken and Leek Risotto
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- Involtini di Pollo with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts, & Cheese
- Chicken Manchow Soup
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How To Make Chicken Yuk Sung Chinese Lettuce Wraps
Chicken Yuk Sung Chinese Lettuce Wraps
- French knife
- Meausuring Cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowl
- 2 tbsp Canola Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 1/4 inch Ginger sliced
- 3 Spring Onions sliced
- 500 g Chicken Breasts finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 3 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp White Sugar
- 1 Medium Spanish Onion finely chopped
- 1 Large Carrot finely chopped
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Boston or Iceberg Lettuce separated into individual leaves
- 1/4 cup Canola Oil
- 1 cup Dried Rice Vermicelli Noodles
- Gently heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok. Add the garlic, ginger, and spring onions and fry until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until browned. Scrape everything into a bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine and sugar.
- Heat the remaining oil in the wok over medium heat, add the onion and carrot, cooking for 2-3 more minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and mix well. Return the chicken back into the wok and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has reduced. Add the sesame oil and mix well.
- For the crispy vermicelli: heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the noodles. They puff up fast so quickly remove them with a slotted spoon and rest on paper towel.
- To serve Chicken Yuk Sung, spoon the chicken mixture into a lettuce leaf and top with fried vermicelli. Wrap and eat.
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