Friday, February 6, 2009

Spicy Sichuan Beef in Lettuce Cups


This is an easy, delicious meal that's also fun to eat. I've toned down the skovilles for first time eaters, but if you know your tolerance for heat feel free to take the heat up a notch or two. Older children like these but to cut down on the mess you might want to enclose the beef in packets or use it as a filling for pita pockets. All ingredients are readily available and the cups can be on the table in half an hour.

Spicy Sichuan Beef in Lettuce Cups

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
20 to 25 small lettuce cups (i.e. Boston or Iceberg)

1) Combine soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, sugar and salt; stir to dissolve cornstarch and make a smooth sauce.
2) Place beef in a medium bowl. Add sauce and gently mix into the beef. Set aside for 15 minutes.
3) Heat a wok or heavy frying pan until hot; add vegetable oil, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4) Add beef and let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until color begins to change. Turn meat and continue to brown, breaking meat into smaller pieces as it cooks. Add pepper flakes and scallions; toss to combine. Add the sesame oil and toss to mix.
5) Transfer to a serving plate. To serve, add a spoonful or two of meat mixture to each lettuce cup. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

Adapted from a recipe by Nancy McDermott


Mila said...

This looks great! Hope you are having a fun trip!

Anonymous said...

Wow, the sesame oil is amazing! This is such an easy meal to prepare! Definitely making this one again! I would like to invite you to - the cooking encyclopedia everyone can edit. We have lots of easy recipes you can try, so do check us out. Would also love a link to this post from our site.(This will direct Foodista readers to your blog)Here's how you can create inbound links from our site Check it out here.

Thanks again for this recipe! My husband, son, and my Mom who came over, Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have not cooked this for a long time! How could I have forgotten? My family loves this!!

Martha said...

We love lettuce cups -- but have only done chicken.

Allie said...

These look fun and super yummy!

Lyndas recipe box said...

The lettuce cups look yummy!I'm enjoying reading your blog, so I left some awards for you at my blog!

Kiezie said...

I love lettuce cups and my step daughter loves anything with ground beef. We are all hot and spicy fans so this is perfect for us! Thanks for sharing it!! Hope your trip is going well. Wish we were there too!! :)

Sara said...

This looks great - I love lettuce wraps, they're so light and fresh tasting!

Beachlover said...

this look delicious! one look thought you're chinese! lol! my mom use shredded carrot,cuttlefish and spicy sambal wrapped with lettuce too!! must try your recipe one day!

Anonymous said...

Those look so good - I made ground chicken lettuce wraps last week and my husband thought they were awful - maybe he'd eat these beef ones!

Thanks for sharing, and I am adding you to my blogroll so I can find you again!

Peter M said...

Love these, be it duck, beef or chicken. Easy to assemble and fun at the table.

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