Crispy Beef Lettuce Wraps
Requested no less than 4 times so far this month by my clients and family, I feel this recipe is worthy of a blog post. Crispy Beef Lettuce Wraps are the ground beef cousin to a previous post of mine for Barbecued Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
Lean ground beef is browned and seasoned with sauteed onions, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce and gets a spicy kick from pickled ginger - a favorite of My Oldest and No Thank You Boy when we go out for sushi - and Asian chile pepper sauce. Scooped into bibb lettuce leaves and sprinkled with chopped cashews, this handheld meal does not disappoint.
I made a double batch of this Asian inspired recipe for my family. We have been enjoying it in the lettuce leaves and also rolled up with shredded monteray jack cheese in a tortilla. There was a slight revolt at lunchtime today when My Middle One found out that The Husband had just finished off the remaining serving of Crispy Beef Lettuce Wraps.
This is one of those recipes that freezes well. After preparing the filling, cool and freeze in resealable bags. Pull it out of the freezer in the morning and by dinner time just heat for 1 - 2 minutes in the microwave on 70% power. Spoon into lettuce leaves and dinner is served.
Crispy Beef Lettuce Wraps
24 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, 93% fat free
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped, about 2 cups
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoon minced pickled ginger
1 and 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian chile pepper sauce or red pepper flakes to taste
1-1/2 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
1/3 cup chopped cashews
Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
In a saute pan over medium high heat, add the ground beef and brown, stirring often. Drain off any fat and remove from a pan. Keep warm.
In the same pan over medium high heat, add the canola oil and saute the onions for 8 - 10 minutes. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir to combine. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, scallions, sesame oil, browned ground beef and continue cooking until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf and sprinkle with the cashews.