These lettuce wraps are incredibly delicious and are so easy to prepare. Just make sure that the lettuce leaves you use are big, because that makes them easier to roll. Larger leaves also hold more of the spicy beef filling, which is truly the star of these mouthwatering wraps. And here’s a tip – purchase as many of the ingredients that you can at your local Asian market – you’ll be amazed at the savings!
Encourage your diners to assemble their own lettuce rolls and to add garnishes (such as sliced green onions, shredded carrots, peanuts, etc.) as desired. First, place a spoonful or two of the beef on the lettuce leaf. Next, add garnishes. And finally, fold burrito style by bringing in sides first and then rolling lengthwise.
These can be messy, especially depending on your rolling skills, so have plenty of napkins available just in case!
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 16 large Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup sweet onion, chopped small
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger
- 1 tablespoon chile garlic sauce, or to taste
- 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons hot chili sesame oil (not pictured, oops!)
- Shredded carrots (optional garnish)
- Peanuts (optional garnish)
Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Rinse lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook ground beef until browned, breaking it apart into small pieces.
Drain beef in a colander, removing as much grease as possible, and transfer to a bowl.
Cook onion in the same skillet used for beef until slightly tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and chile garlic sauce into onions.
Add water chestnuts, hot chili sesame oil and cooked beef, stir until blended.
Stir in the sesame seeds and green onions and heat for a couple of minutes.
Transfer the beef mixture to a large bowl and place next to the lettuce leaves and garnishes.
Place a spoonful or two of the beef mixture on a lettuce leaf and garnish as desired.
Roll up the leaf burrito-style. These are great on their own, or serve them with hot and sour soup, eggrolls, or any of your other favorite Asian dishes.