Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps

Everyone who loves P.F. Chang's or Pei Wei sings praises about their lettuce wraps. When I ended up with a lot of ground beef in the freezer, I knew, for my own sake, I was going to need to find something besides chili, spaghetti sauce, and tacos in which to use it. Lo and behold, this recipe arrived from The Cynical Chef just as I was racking my brain for ideas.

Of course, the recipe underwent some changes. Joe had used up the rest of the soy sauce without telling me, and I tend to eyeball ginger and put in much more than the recipe calls for. It still turned out great. Much better and healthier than P.F. Chang's and a lot cheaper too! This would also make a tasty appetizer and could be easily doubled for a larger crowd.

Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps
source: AllRecipes via The Cynical Chef

  • 16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger (I used fresh minced ginger.)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chile pepper sauce to taste (like Sriracha)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
  1. Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  3. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!