← Back to Search Results
stir-frying Asian, Chinese
Spicy Beef in Lettuce Cups

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 5
 

Recipe

This Szechuan-style dish is quite delicious, quick to prepare, and fun to eat. You can use flatter lettuce leaves, such as romaine or oak leaf lettuce, and fold them into small packets for eating. Or enjoy the filling in tortillas or pita bread, along with a handful of shredded lettuce and a dollop or two of spicy salsa. We love it with rice and greens for a weeknight supper.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry, white wine, or Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespooon Asian sesame oil
  • About 20 cup-shaped lettuce leaves, such as Bibb, Boston, or iceberg

Directions

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, sugar, and salt, and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch and combine everything into a smooth sauce.

Place the ground beef in a medium bowl, and use a spoon to separate it into five or six big clumps. Add about half the soy sauce mixture, and gently mix the seasonings into the ground beef, using your hands or a large spoon. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

To cook, heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the vegetable oil; swirl to coat the pan, and then toss in the ginger and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, tossing once, until fragrant but not browned.

Crumble in the seasoned ground beef, and use your spatula or a big, slotted spoon to break it up and spread the meat out over the hot pan to help it cook evenly. Let it cook until it changes color on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.

Toss the meat just enough to turn the uncooked side onto the hot pan, and let it cook another minute undisturbed. Pour the remaining half of the seasoning mixture over the meat. Then toss well, using your spatula to break up any large chunks. When the meat is cooked, add the red pepper flakes and the green onion, and toss well. Add the sesame oil and remove from the heat tossing once more to mix everything well.

Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot warm, or at room temperature. Arrange lettuce cups on a serving platter, and fill each one with a spoonful or two of the cooked beef. Or provide lettuce cups and the serving plate of beef and invite guests to make up lettuce packets themselves.


© 2008 Nancie McDermott
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

263kcal (13%)
63mg (6%)
23mg (39%)
451mcg RAE (15%)
470mg
36mg
14g
2g
2g
8g
38mg (13%)
1117mg (47%)
4g (21%)
19g (29%)
3mg (15%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • stevecrow316

    05.27.13 Flag comment

    Made with ground chicken instead of beef, and it rocked! Worth making for the aroma it fills the house with :) Quadrupled the recipe to ensure leftovers for lunch. Not sure if my modifications threw it off a bit, but I definitely recommend either omitting the salt or using low sodium soy sauce.

  • Clara52

    03.26.12 Flag comment

    This is really good! I serve it for dinner in a bowl over rice with shredded romaine lettuce on top. I like to put a spoon of go-chee-jang sauce (Korean bean paste that's a little sweet and hot) in it and mix it up. With all that garlic, green onion and sesame oil, it seems more Korean to me.
    OH! I double or triple the whole recipe.
    Thanks for the great recipe.

  • nanciemac

    09.19.10 Flag comment

    Nancie McDermott here, to fill the gap in my recipe. You pour the remaining seasoning sauce into the pan just after the meat, and before the red pepper flakes, green onion and sesame oil. As soon as the meat has had a chance to cook a bit, pour the sauce over it, toss well, and then proceed as directed. Cookstr corrected my mistake as soon as I told them about it, so the recipe now has all the directions. So sorry and happy cooking!

  • swhitmansalkin

    06.18.10 Flag comment

    @scotschinese I checked in the book to see if any instructions went missing in translation from book to web, but in fact Nancie doesn't specify what to do with the rest of that sauce. It sounds so tasty, though, and I bet it would be great as a condiment on the final dish, or even over rice.

  • scotschinese

    10.15.09 Flag comment

    This is a lovely and fast dish; but there is a gap in the instructions. One is told what to do with half of the liquid mixture, but never told what to do with the 2nd half. I stirred it in while cooking and that seemed satisfactory. - Leslie

 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

fruits-of-the-harvest-recipes-to-celebrate-kwanzaa-and-other-holidays Fruits of the Harvest: Reci...
by Eric V. Copage
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
fresh-from-the-market Fresh from the Market
by Laurent Tourondel
west-coast-cooking West Coast Cooking
by Greg Atkinson
allergy-free-desserts Allergy-Free Desserts
by Elizabeth Gordon
a-new-way-to-cook A New Way to Cook
by Sally Schneider
daves-dinners-a-fresh-approach-to-home-cooked-meals Dave's Dinners: A Fresh App...
by Dave Lieberman
bistro-cooking-at-home-more-than-150-classic-and-contemporary-dishes Bistro Cooking at Home: Mor...
by Gordon Hamersley
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
unforgettable-desserts Unforgettable Desserts
by Dede Wilson
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
the-asian-grandmothers-cookbook The Asian Grandmothers Cook...
by Patricia Tanumihardja
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
the-new-basics-cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins, Julee Rosso
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
Already a member? Sign in here
Close_overlay

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
Spinner
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Close_overlay

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?