Lettuce wraps are not part of our regular repertoire. In fact, I’ve only had them a couple of times at restaurants. I do always enjoy them though. So when I was trying to come up with some new meals to add to our summertime dinner rotation, the idea of lettuce wraps was very intriguing to me.
We all always enjoy Asian-inspired flavors, and the kids have been really enjoying salads lately, so I figured Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps would be a winner.
And that’s true. The filling was a definite hit. I combined things that I thought would work well as I remembered my few experiences with lettuce wraps as well as flavors that I know always go over well with the kids. The only thing I didn’t count on was my inability to roll lettuce around a filling. I don’t know – maybe it gets easier with practice, but my first attempt didn’t go over very good.
At least I redeemed myself with the very tasty filling. No one seemed to mind that the lettuce wraps fell apart before they were even picked up for the first time. In fact, we all happily enjoyed seconds of the filling. And as we ate, we discussed all the other ways we could eat the filling. Some of our thoughts were in tortillas, in wonton or egg roll wrappers, or even just served over rice. It’s definitely a versatile filling and it will definitely be making a regular appearance at our dinner table.
Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wrap Filling
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 c. shredded cabbage
- 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and diced
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- Lettuce for wraps, if desired (I used Boston lettuce, but maybe that was my problem??)
- Hoisin sauce for dipping, if desired
1. Cook ground beef with garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in a large skillet. Drain when meat is browned.
2. Add shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, green onions and water chestnuts to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, until cabbage is just crisp-tender.
3. Stir in soy sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes.
4. If using as lettuce wrap filling, proceed with caution and scoop some filling into each lettuce leaf and roll up. Dip in hoisin sauce, if desired.
I would definitely love to try the whole lettuce wrap process again. If you’ve had success with rolling up lettuce wraps, please share your method and tips with me. I’d really appreciate it!!
If you haven’t tried lettuce wraps and you have no desire to try now, I definitely still encourage you to make this filling and use it in one of the other ways I mentioned. You won’t regret it!