Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups

I am always excited to share new recipes with you, but today I am particularly pumped because these Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups are DYNAMITE (see what I did there).

It’s summer, and I don’t generally feel like turning the oven on, unless it’s to make banana bread, so these lettuce cups came to fruition at the most opportune time.

Overhead shot of Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups

The firecracker sauce is made with buffalo sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey and a few spices. Once you dredge the plump, juicy shrimp with cornstarch, they’re lightly fried in a skillet then tossed and coated with the firecracker sauce.

How to make firecracker shrimp

This is an important part of the journey of making firecracker shrimp because you have to decide whether you can wait a moment while you assemble the lettuce cups, or if you just want to eat the shrimp straight out of the pan.

There is absolutely no judgement regarding your decision… I simply wanted to warn you.

Firecracker sauce in a measuring cup

If you don’t want to turn the oven on this summer, this recipe is for you

The other dynamic step to this recipe is making the most simple, fluffy and flavorful coconut rice EVER. All it takes is water, canned coconut milk, Jasmine rice and a pinch of salt.

I’ve made this rice so many times, and when I first conceptualized these firecracker shrimp lettuce cups in my head, I didn’t even think to add coconut rice.

But once I started putting them together today, it dawned on me that this rice was the answer to taking really, really good lettuce cups to I simply cannot stop eating these lettuce cups.

You get my point.

Overhead shot of Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups

So basically you just stuff Bibb lettuce leaves with the creamy coconut rice and sassy firecracker shrimp and top them with sliced green onion and a squeeze of fresh lime.

They’re like Pringles – once you pop, you most certainly won’t be able to stop.


Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups

Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups

Crispy shrimp coated in a sassy firecracker sauce stuffed in lettuce cups with coconut rice and topped with green onion and lime.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 30-40 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: American



Coconut Rice:

  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup Jasmine rice
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

 Firecracker Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup buffalo sauce
  • 5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch


  • 1-pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oil

 Lettuce Cups:

  • 2 heads Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves separated
  • 2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium lime, cut into wedges


  1. To make the coconut rice: Add the water and coconut milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the rice and salt, stir and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and place a lid on the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is al dente. Set aside to slightly cool.
  2. To make the firecracker sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until combined. Set aside.
  3. To make the shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel. Place the cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag. Sprinkle half of the salt and black pepper on the shrimp, then add the remaining salt and black pepper to the Ziploc bag; shake to combine. Add the shrimp to the bag, zip to close, then shake until well-coated. Heat oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Use tongs to add the cornstarch-coated shrimp to the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy. Add the firecracker sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer until thickened, about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly to coat the shrimp.
  4. To assemble the lettuce cups: Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of coconut rice into each lettuce cup. Top with 3-4 shrimp and a bit of sauce and sprinkle with a few sliced green onions. Serve immediately with lime wedges.


Storage Tip: If there is leftover rice, refrigerate it in an airtight container up to 3 days.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 318
  • Sugar: 23g
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Cholesterol: 143mg

Keywords: healthy, easy, sauce, marinated shrimp, easy, weeknight ideas

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6 thoughts on “Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups”

  1. Hi, I went shopping today to buy all these ingredients. They look and sound delicious!!
    Just wondering for the coconut rice- should I use non-sweetened or regular coconut milk?? They had both along with lite also.
    Thanks, can’t wait to try them 🍴

    1. Hi Lynn! Great question on the coconut milk – you’ll want to buy the full fat canned coconut milk in the ethnic foods aisle (such as Thai Kitchen brand). Using the carton of coconut milk (found in the alternative milk aisle with almond, soy, rice milk etc will still work, but will not be as creamy and coconuty as using the can, and you will likely have to alter the amount of liquid you add to the rice. I hope that helps! Enjoy!

    2. Excellent in all ways!
      My husband kept saying that this dish tasted like we were eating in a classy restaurant!! It was so mouth watering and tasty. I agree and this recipe made me a better cook and was fun to make.
      So very yummy – thanks for sharing Julie

      1. That’s so fantastic, Lyn!! I love to hear these stories, and I hope this recipe is something you enjoy for years to come. I make them ALL the time and never tire of them. 😉

  2. Giovanna Rocha

    This recipe was delicious! My boyfriend ate ten lettuce shrimp cups haha and wanted five more!

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