Skip to main content

Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Lettuce Rolls with Chile-Lime Sauce Recipe

Contributors: Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND

: Academy Nutrition Information Services Team

Published: February 4, 2018

Reviewed: March 19, 2024

Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Lettuce Rolls with Chile-Lime Sauce Recipe
KucherAV/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

In Vietnamese cuisine, tender lettuce leaves can serve as edible wrappers for shrimp and other protein foods (for example, tofu or scallops) and for fresh vegetables, much like the edible wrappers do for Chinese spring (egg) rolls or tortillas do for tacos. Because lettuce rolls can be assembled at the table, they’re a fun, flavorful and nourishing appetizer, light lunch or snack that every age — kids, too — can prepare at the family table.


12 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup raw bean sprouts *
2 heads Boston lettuce, separated in leaves
1 medium carrot, cut in 1-inch matchsticks **
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts

Chile-Lime Sauce
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon less-sodium soy sauce or fish sauce ***
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons shredded carrots **


Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  1. Cut shrimp in half lengthwise.
  2. Rinse bean sprouts under cold water. Fill a saucepan with water (enough to cover sprouts); bring to a boil. Add sprouts to water, and blanch for about 3 minutes. Drain and plunge sprouts in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain; pat sprouts dry with paper towels.
  3. To make the sauce, combine lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Whisk to blend ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Add the grated carrots. Serve sauce at room temperature.
  4. To serve, arrange lettuce leaves, shrimp, bean sprouts, carrot, green onions, cilantro, mint and peanuts on a large serving plate. Pour dipping sauce into a small bowl.
  5. Assemble lettuce rolls at the table. To make each lettuce roll, place bean sprouts on one end of a lettuce leaf. Top with shrimp, then top with other ingredients as desired. Drizzle dipping sauce over shrimp and vegetables.
  6. Fold the sides of the lettuce leaf, then roll tightly.

Cooking Notes

* Raw bean sprouts are not recommended for those at high risk for foodborne illness, including pregnant women, young children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems. Canned bean sprouts (drained) or cooked rice noodles can be used in place of blanched, raw bean sprouts.

** Tip: Shred 2 tablespoons carrot from a larger carrot to use in the sauce and for the rolls.

*** Asian fish sauce, called nam pla, is the pungent condiment from salted, fermented fish, which gives this Vietnamese sauce its characteristic flavor. Because fish sauce is very high in sodium, this chili dipping sauce is made with less-sodium soy sauce.

Nutrition Information

Serves 4

Calories: 200; Calories from fat: 60; Total fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 1g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 130mg; Sodium 300mg; Total carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 23g

Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND, is author of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide and 365 Days of Healthy Eating.

Freshly Picked

Community members gardening together in a shared space.

Food Security and Sustainability

Cultivating Connections: How to Start or Participate In a Community Garden

Read the Full Story

Find a Nutrition Expert

Looking for credible nutrition information and recommendations? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' network of credentialed food and nutrition practitioners are ready to help!