Recipe by Rachel Castro
"Delicious and bursting with flavor, Asian lettuce wraps are a great idea for entertaining or a family style meal. Each person can build their own fresh, delicious wrap. Just be sure to have plates or napkins available since the mixture can sometimes drip a little. 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!"
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Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
lean ground beef
fresh garlic, minced
rice wine vinegar
minced pickled ginger
Asian chile pepper sauce, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can
water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
green onions, chopped
Asian (dark) sesame oil
I wish I could give this 4.5 stars, because it's dangerously close to a 5-star recipe, but it's not quite there. I gotta tell you, this recipe is an AWESOME way to sneak in those veggie soy crumbles (looks like ground beef, but doesn't always taste like it...except it TOTALLY works in this recipe). Definitely make the sauce as suggested by another reviewer (1 tsp sesame oil, 2 T soy, 2 T rice vinegar, 1 T chile paste)...in my opinion, the sauce makes this a 5-star recipe! I used regular fresh ginger rather than pickled, and shredded some carrots to serve on top of everything. I would have LOVED to have those nice crunchy noodle-y things, but once I heard they are fried in oil, I had to say "no thanks!" I'm definitely going to make these again (they're really easy to make, by the way) and will also pass on the recipe!
Not my favorite version of this dish but OK. It was easy to make and fairly healthy so it went over well.
Loved it! Added about 2Tbs of chili paste for spice. Next time I am going to make with ground turkey and add thinly sliced carrots and rice noodles for crunch. I made an asian dipping sauce to add on like at PF Changs (1tsp sesame oil, 2T soy, 2T rice vinegar, 1T chile paste, sugar and i green onion slices)
I've been eating lettuce wrap at many Chinese restaurants since I was a little kid, so I have over 3 decades worth of eating this stuff. I've tried many different variations and can attest that this recipe is top-notch.
However, instead of ground beef, most Chinese restaurants use ground pork or duck. Except for substituting ground beef for ground pork and omitting the pickled ginger (since I didn't have any in the house), I made no changes to the recipe. As a suggestion, try serving the meat over a bed of crispy rice noodles (vermicelli) as I've seen done in many restaurants. Simply heat some oil and dunk a small handful of noodles at a time...they crisp up in a couple of seconds. Not only does it make the presentation nice, it adds a nice crisp crunch to the meat mixture.
Also, for extra burst of flavour, put a bit of hoisin sauce (see recipe here as well) before wrapping it up in a lettuce leaf, as one other person suggested.
If I could give 7 stars, I would! My variations: I don't like ginger & finding pickled ginger wasn't worth my efforts so I omitted it. I did add a very healthy portion (perhaps up to 2 tbsn) of Thai sweet chili pepper sauce (looks like a clear gelatin with red confetti in it). I thought this tasted EXACTLY like PF Chang's, but without the hefty appetizer price. The key to getting the taste just right, is the sesame oil. (It has a strong flavor & if it's missing, won't quite taste the same as PF Chang's, but don't over do it!) For serving these as an appetizer, I used the leaves from butter (Bibb) lettuce. They are sturdy enough, but much smaller than iceberg and have a vibrant green color so they make the perfect appetizer ingredient or the perfect size for kids.
I was made this last night for my husband who loves PF Changs lettuce wraps. In trying to be more like those at PF Changs I used chicken instead of beef. Since chicken is a bit dryer I doubled all the liquid except the sesame oil (since it's so flavorful). I also added crushed peanuts and bambooshoots. My husband was impressed and told me they were just as good as PF Changs.
My sister and I are vegetarians. Yesterday, we challenged ourselves to go a week without bread, pasta, grains, etc.... Very hard to do as we feel that's what fills us instead of meat. I was looking for a good recipe besides our normal pasta, veggie burgers, fruit, and veggies. I came across this recipe and thought that I could make it using Vegetarian Ground Beef (I prefer Boca). It worked out perfectly. I just made it all in one pot. I substituted ground ginger for fresh and left out the chile and chestnuts. Used a little extra soy sauce, and we toasted some sesame seeds and chopped cashews for some crunch. Next time, I think I'll add some bean sprouts.
I used ground chicken and subbed bamboo shoots for the chestnuts bc i wanted the added crunch...they turned out delicious! I also made extra sauce on the side: 1/4 c plum sauce, a tbsp OJ, 1/2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce--boil for 1 minute and let cool. Spread a bit on the meat mixture when eating--tastes amazing.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Serving Size: 1/4 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 201
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