As a Health Coach, I know the importance of a simple, yet delicious meal. Whether you are cooking in the oven, grill, or air fryer, salmon is something that provides tons of nutrients and can be made quickly into a delicious lunch or dinner. These Salmon Lettuce Wraps are a delicious and healthy dish that combines tender pieces of salmon coated in a savory sesame glaze. The salmon is marinated in a flavorful mixture of sesame oil, coconut aminos, ginger, and garlic, giving it a rich umami taste. The cabbage or lettuce leaves act as a fresh and crunchy vessel, providing a contrast in texture and adding a refreshing element to each bite.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Simple and delicious: Whether you are making this recipe for lunch or dinner, it is ready in under 30 minutes and will leave your tastebuds dancing around and wanting more.
Minimal ingredients: This recipe only has 10 ingredients. Not many recipes will taste this good and only have 10 ingredients. This is one reason why I love Side Dish sauces so much! The Creamy Sesame sauce add so much flavor.
Whole30 Compatible: This salmon recipe is Whole30 Compatible and is a great way to add variety if you are doing a Whole30 or eating a Paleo-type lifestyle.
Ingredients You Will Need
Salmon: An excellent source of protein with 25 g of protein per serving (3-4 oz). It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids which is great for your heart and inflammation. Selenium is a nutrient that can be hard to get, but salmon is high in. This vitamin is important for DNA synthesis and brain function. I prefer to get wild caught salmon, which I find at Costco, but it is a much healthier piece of salmon as opposed to farm raised.
Coconut Aminos: A much healthier alternative to soy sauce. It is made by fermenting coconut sap with salt. It is completely soy free and is slightly sweeter than soy sauce.
Toasted Sesame Oil: This is an oil that is made from sesame seeds and has many benefits! Toasted sesame oil is used for flavor, while cold-press sesame oil is used for cooking. It has properties that are helpful for heart health, brain health, and may have benefits for your memory. It is a very strong flavor, so you don't need much to get a nice nutty flavor.
Garlic: Garlic: is known for its anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It helps fight many diseases like the common cold, heart disease, and others.
Ginger: This is a spice that is known for being anti-inflammatory and really good for our guts. It can help ease numerous gut issues such as nausea, diarrhea, and also helps decrease inflammation all throughout the body. The warm spice is a favorite of mine to use in Asian inspired dishes.
Jicama: is full of fiber which can lead to a healthier gut microbiome and improved digestion (for most). It is also full of vitamins and minerals that can benefit heart health, as well. I love adding it to tacos and lettuce wraps because it adds such a nice crunch to the dish.
Radish: These are a root veggie from the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, etc) that are very high in fiber, so they support digestion! They are also high in Vitamin C which can help your immune system and they are known to have anti-fungal properties. They have a peppery taste and add a crunch to your meal.
Cabbage: One of the most nutrient dense vegetables, cabbage is often overlooked! It is full of fiber, vitamin C, iron, folate and so much more. Because of this it has many health benefits too! From helping fight inflammation, to aiding in digestion and everything in between, cabbage is a super star for our bodies. I love using it in this recipe because it is crunchier and more sturdy than normal lettuce.
Creamy Sesame Dressing:This dressing is from Side Dish and is my all time favorite bottled dressing. It is creamy and has the perfect balance of flavor. I use it for dips, dressings and marinades.
Salt and Pepper
Prepare the salmon: Start by cutting the salmon into 1 inch cubes. I do this with the skin on.
Marinade the Salmon: Toss the cubes of salmon into a large zip top back and add coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, salt, pepper and ground ginger. Zip the bag close and make sure all the salmon is coated. Place the bag in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You can also marinade over night.
Cook the Salmon: After 30 minutes (or longer) heat a pan to medium heat and put the salmon plus the marinade into the pan. Cook the salmon for about 8 minutes, flipping it half way through. If you have the skin on, remove the skin at this point.
Wash and rinse cabbage: Carefully pull off leaves from the cabbage or lettuce head, rinse, and dry thoroughly. I usually use about 3-4 leaves of cabbage per person.
Build Lettuce Wraps: In the cabbage or lettuce cups add jicama, radish, carrots and finally salmon. Drizzle Creamy Sesame sauce on top of the lettuce wrap.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Thawing Salmon Quickly: If you are in a landlocked state like me, fresh salmon (or any fish) is hard to come by. One tip I have for thawing salmon quickly is placing it in a bowl of cold water. It should be fully thawed in under an hour.
Time saver: If you are in a time crunch, buy pre-cut jicama, carrots and radishes as chopping those tend to be the most time consuming part of making these Salmon Lettuce Cups.
Soy-free: This naturally recipe is soy-free, however is soy is something that does not bother you or if you don't have coconut aminos on hand, then you can substitute that for soy sauce. If you do this, leave the salt out of the marinade, as soy sauce is much saltier than coconut aminos.
Don't like salmon: If you don't like salmon, this recipe is also great with chicken or even tofu!
Veggies: You can substitute any veggies that you like more for the jicama, carrots, or radishes. I like these three root veggies because they are nice and crunchy! However, other veggies like green onions, bell peppers or zucchini would be good too.
Various types of lettuce: I love using cabbage for lettuce wraps because it is much more sturdy, however you can also use bib lettuce (the most widely used) or any other kind of lettuce that you find enjoyable.
Salmon: If you are going to save leftovers for this keep the salmon on its own (not in lettuce cup) and it should be eaten the next day for peak freshness. Store it in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Veggies: These can be prepped ahead of time and stored in an air tight container for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. For the cabbage, you can leave it in the full head until ready to use or pull leaves off of it to wash and fully dry before storing in an air tight container in the refrigerator. If you do wash and dry the cabbage ahead of time they should also be use by the next day, otherwise it will stay fresh in the fridge for 10+ days.
FAQs About Recipe
What lettuce is best for lettuce wraps?
Most people prefer bibb lettuce for lettuce wraps because it has large leaves and is crisp. I like to use cabbage or savoy cabbage best because it is crunchier and more sturdy and I can fit more filling into each cup. It is often much cheaper and bibb lettuce. You can interchange them as you like for this recipe.
How do you core lettuce?
Use a very sharp knife to cut around the core at an angle. Once you cut all the way around, the core should come out. This video give a great demonstration!
How to keep lettuce crisp for lettuce wraps?
This is why I like to use cabbage for lettuce wraps because they are much crisper than regular lettuce. However, to keep both lettuce and cabbage fresh and crisp, after I wash them, I let them dry completely before eating. If you are storing lettuce in the fridge always store it with a few paper towels and in an air tight container.
Sesame Salmon Lettuce Wraps
- 3 lbs Salmon I prefer wild caught
- ½ cup Coconut Aminos
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- ½ tablespoon Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1 head Cabbage or 2 heads Bibb lettuce
- 1 cup Jicama sliced thinly
- 1 cup Radish sliced thinly
- 1 cup Shredded Carrots
- ½ cup Creamy Sesame Dressing
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Start by cutting the salmon into 1 inch cubes. I do this with the skin on.
- Toss the cubes of salmon into a large zip top back and add coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and ground ginger. Zip the bag close and make sure all the salmon is coated. Place the bag in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes (or longer) heat a pan to medium heat and put the salmon plus the marinade into the pan. Cook the salmon for about 8 minutes, flipping it half way through. If you have the skin on, remove the skin at this point.
- Carefully pull off leaves from the cabbage or lettuce head, rinse, and dry thoroughly. I usually use about 3-4 leaves of cabbage per person.
- In the cabbage or lettuce cups add jicama, radish, carrots and finally salmon.
- Drizzle Creamy Sesame sauce on top of the lettuce wrap, serve and enjoy!