September 5, 2018
Ground beef is a mealtime staple because of its affordability and versatility, but also because it cooks so quickly, allowing whomever is in charge of dinner to get a meal on the table fast. It’s also perfect for making lettuce wraps, which are trendy on restaurant menus, but surprisingly simple to make at home.
Lettuce wraps are easy, inexpensive and incredibly versatile—sirloin is a perfect choice, but you could use ground chicken, turkey or pork, or try chopped shrimp, mushrooms or tofu. Lettuce wraps work as a party food, appetizer or main course, and are great for social occasions, providing a bit of an activity and conversation starter for those around the table. They’re veggie-heavy and gluten-free, if you use gluten-free soy sauce or tamarin and hoisin sauce. Go for lettuce with soft, pliable leaves, like butter or leaf lettuce, and tweak the quantities of meat, veggies and sauce to suit your taste. If you’d like to double the recipe, leftovers (minus the lettuce itself) freeze very well and can be simply reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave when you need a quick meal or healthy, substantial snack.
Sirloin Lettuce Wraps
Serve these as an appetizer or main course, and if you like, set out extra cilantro, chopped peanuts and a bottle of Sriracha for everyone to add their own.
canola or vegetable oil, for cooking
sesame oil, for cooking
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 lb ground sirloin, beef or pork
2 Tbsp soy sauce (or to taste)
a small handful of cilantro, chopped (optional)
a few green onions, chopped
1/3 cup hoisin sauce (or to taste)
chopped peanuts, for serving
small red or green leaf or butter lettuce leaves, for serving
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of canola and sesame oil and sauté the pepper for a few minutes, until starting to soften. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it’s no longer pink. Add the soy sauce, cilantro and onions to the pan and cook, breaking everything up and stirring to combine until everything is cooked and any excess moisture has cooked off. Add the hoisin sauce and stir to heat through.
Serve the beef mixture in a bowl, topped with peanuts, with lettuce leaves to wrap, roll and eat. (If you like, serve extra cilantro and peanuts alongside for people to add to their lettuce wraps.) Serves 4-6.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
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