Shiitake mushroom lettuce rolls with basil chiffonade These vegetarian lettuce wraps are so light, they won’t spoil anyone’s appetite

Shiitake mushroom lettuce wraps with basil chiffonade

The trick to throwing a multi-course dinner? Don’t fill your guests up too fast.

Whenever I throw a dinner party, it’s always a multi-course affair. So starting the meal with a light appetizer is key – the last thing I want is for my guests to fill up before they get to the main course.

These savory lettuce rolls fit the bill perfectly. They’re practically weightless, delightfully crunchy, and certainly won’t spoil anyone’s appetite. But they’re also chock-full of flavor – the spicy shiitake mushrooms deliver quite a punch!

Roll the lettuce wraps up – and then wolf them down!

Moreover, the lettuce wraps are great fun to eat. Because they’re presented open-faced, your guests get to see the lovely ingredients they’re about to enjoy, cupped in their individual lettuce “boats.” For this effect, though, you’ll need to use the right green. Boston lettuce is, in my opinion, the best lettuce for lettuce wraps. The leaves naturally form the shape you see in the photos here, making presentation a breeze.

Finally, the lettuce “boats” are individually hand-rolled by each guest, just before they’re devoured – the perfect finger food!

Shiitake mushrooms

Food & wine pairing: Santorini, Assyrtiko with spicy shiitake lettuce wraps

White wine iconAny white wine with good acidity, round texture and citrus notes works well with these spicy lettuce boats. But I particularly love serving an Assyrtiko with this appetizer. This noble grape from the Greek island of Santorini produces complex, luscious wines with vibrant citrus notes, mouthwatering acidity and wonderful minerality. Try an Assyrtiko from Domaine Sigalas or Gai’A Wines. Both wineries make some of the best Assyrtikos in Santorini.

Shiitake mushroom lettuce wraps with basil chiffonade

makes 12 boats or serves 4
active time: 30 min

  1. 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and crushed (use a microplane grater)
  2. 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root (use a microplane grater)
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
  5. 2 tablespoons low-sodium Tamari soy sauce
  6. 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  7. 3 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil
  8. 1 lb (455 g) shiitake mushrooms – stems removed and discarded, caps cut in 1/4″ cubes
  9. 4 scallions – root ends trimmed, top trimmed 3″ from edge and very finely sliced (3/4 cup)
  10. 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts – coarsely chopped (use a mini food processor)
  11. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  12. 12 medium Boston lettuce leaves (4″ long) – rinsed and spin-dried
  1. 12 large basil leaves – cut en chiffonade, as garnish

  1. Step 1:camera icon Place the garlic, ginger, salt, cayenne, Tamari and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended and set aside.
  2. Step 2:camera icon Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the peanut or grapeseed oil and mushrooms. Sauté for 7 to 8 minutes until the mushrooms are golden-brown, tossing only from time to time. Reduce heat to medium. Drizzle with the ginger-soy mixture. Quickly toss and sauté for only 15 seconds. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl and cool until slightly warm to the touch.
  3. Step 3:camera icon When ready to serve, add the scallions and peanuts to the mushrooms. Drizzle with the lime juice and stir until well blended. Spoon about 2 tablespoons’ worth of the mushroom mixture into each lettuce leaf. Arrange the boats on a platter and garnish with the basil chiffonade. Serve immediately.

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Shiitake mushroom lettuce wraps with basil chiffonade

mushrooms, basil, lettuce

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  • Reply Reshma April 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Your food is heaven on a plate, so easy to prepare,so Nutrious! Thanks!

  • Reply Chris Powell February 20, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Viviane, Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe for our New Year’s Eve party. It worked better for our group as a small salad. The guests remarked that the blend of flavors was outstanding. Thank you for reintroducing me to shitake mushrooms. Your recipes are inspiring.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre February 24, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      Hi Chris! I’m so glad to know this recipe was a hit with your guests! Wishing you a very happy, inspired and delicious New Year!

  • Reply Liz February 9, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I’d love to be your dinner party guest! These lettuce boats look scrumptious! I’d be happy with a tray of these for my dinner 🙂

  • Reply El February 5, 2015 at 3:32 am

    The recipe looks fantastic. I must say, your new site is just beautiful. love the layout!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre February 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you so much, El… you put a very big smile on my face this morning!

  • Reply Judit + Corina @Glamorous Bite February 1, 2015 at 3:12 am

    Fabulous recipe and wine pairing, Viviane! We both love lettuce wraps and can’t wait to make them again with mushrooms.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre February 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you so much, J & C!

  • Reply Balvinder April 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Lettuce cups are my family’s favorite way to eat leftover chicken.

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