Wrap up a healthy, light and easy dinner everyone will rave about with this Asian Beef Lettuce Wrap recipe with Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce! Beef fills tender butter lettuce leaves here, but chicken, turkey or pork will also work. Serve these healthy beef lettuce wraps with Miso-Glazed Eggplant for a flavor-packed side dish!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
Sharing one of my most requested personal chef client favorites!
My Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps with Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce have been a favorite of adults and kids alike for about as long as I’ve been a personal chef. After all, who doesn’t like to play with their food and eat with their hands–especially when you’re enjoying healthy beef lettuce wraps?
The list of ingredients looks long, but the beef lettuce wrap recipe is easy without any difficult techniques.
In a nutshell:
- Combine the ingredients for the Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce.
- Cook onion, red bell pepper and ground beef then add pantry ingredients for the filling.
- Fill ’em up! Top tender butter lettuce leaves with the flavorful filling then add simple toppings.
These Asian beef lettuce wraps are:
- Healthy! The addition of brown rice adds fiber.
- Super flavorful!
- Easy to make.
- Versatile! It can also be made with chicken, turkey or pork.
- Economical. It uses ingredients you may already have in your pantry!
How to Make an Asian Beef Lettuce Wrap Recipe with Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this beef lettuce wraps recipe along with how to prep the ingredients. It may look like a lot, but you may already have many of the ingredients on hand in your pantry. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
- Ground Beef: Use ground chuck or sirloin for these beef lettuce wraps. Ground round is too lean and dry. Ground chicken, turkey or pork can also be used.
- Beef Broth: Vegetable broth can also be used.
- Soy Sauce: I prefer Kikkoman Low-Sodium Soy Sauce. Regular soy sauce can be super strong and it’s always a good idea to reduce sodium intake, especially with other ingredients with higher sodium levels, such as ketchup and chili garlic sauce.
- Rice Vinegar: This mild Asian vinegar is sometimes called rice wine vinegar. However, they are actually two different ingredients. Both will work in this recipe. Rice vinegar is a nice ingredient to always have on hand when you want something only mildly acidic in a dish.
- Chili Garlic Sauce: Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce is the most popular and well-known brand. It adds a spicy kick! If you’re not into spicy, reduce the amount initially; you can always add more!
- Sesame Oil: Use toasted sesame oil found in the international aisle, which is intended for flavoring, rather than light sesame oil, which is intended for cooking.
- Butter Lettuce (also known as Boston and Bibb): It’s ideal for lettuce wraps because it’s pliable. The loose, round heads are often sold in a plastic shell with the roots still attached to extend freshness. Because the roots usually are still attached, it’s a good idea to rinse the heads before using them.
- Brown Rice: You can purchase cooked brown rice near the frozen vegetable section. Quinoa is a great substitute.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients for the ground beef lettuce wraps recipe.
- Whisk together the Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce first so the flavors can meld and set it aside. Refrigerate if made in advance; set aside if using right away.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef (or chicken, turkey or pork). Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking the beef with a large spoon as it browns. When the beef is no longer pink, drain off any excess grease.
- Return the skillet to the heat and add the garlic, ginger, broth, ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened. Taste for seasoning.
- That’s it! Healthy ground beef lettuce wraps!
- Place the beef in the lettuce wraps and top with hot, cooked brown rice, thinly sliced scallion and shredded or julienned carrots. Peanuts or cashews would also make a tasty, crunch addition!
- Pour the tangy sauce onto the Asian ground beef lettuce wraps or dip them into it.
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- Because one butter lettuce leaf can be a bit flimsy, use two butter lettuce leaves for a more substantial wrap.
- Whenever I cook brown rice, I always cook more than I will need for the recipe I’m making. It freezes great and barely needs any thawing; it can go right into the microwave to be heated up.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The best green for edible cups is butter lettuce which is also known as Bibb or Boston. Other good possibilities are Little Gem, iceberg and Romaine. Each leaf should be deep enough to hold the filling and strong enough not to wilt with heavy or warm additions.
The beef filling and the sauce for these Asian Lettuce Wraps can be made ahead of time and then reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. The dipping sauce can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated. It’s not a good idea to fill lettuce cups ahead of time as the hot filling will wilt the lettuce.
- Refrigerate any leftovers of the lettuce, filling and sauce for up to five days. The filling and sauce can also be frozen for 2 to 3 months. Thaw the filling in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Thaw the sauce in the microwave but just to the point where it’s thawed as it’s better chilled or at room temperature.
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Get all my great weeknight dinner solution recipes at Weeknight Dinner Solutions – From A Chef’s Kitchen
More great lettuce wrap recipes you’ll love!
- Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki
- Vietnamese Beef Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber Relish
- Vegan Korean Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps
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Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps
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Ginger – Lime Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup soy sauce - preferably low-sodium
- 2 large limes - juiced (approximately 1/4 cup juice)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1-2 tablespoons honey - (as needed)
- 2-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce - or to tolerance and taste
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Beef and Wraps
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large onion - diced
- 1 large red bell pepper - seeds and membranes removed, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 cup beef broth - or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce - preferably low-sodium
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce - or to tolerance and taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - only if needed
- 12 leaves Boston lettuce - rinsed and patted dry
- Shredded or julienned carrots
- 1 bunch scallions - thinly sliced diagonally
- Hot cooked brown rice
- Lime wedges
Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce
- Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Refrigerate if made in advance; set aside if using right away.
Beef and Wraps
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground beef. Cook 5-6 minutes, breaking the beef up with a large spoon as the beef browns. When beef is no longer pink, drain off any excess grease.
- Return the skillet to the heat and add the garlic, ginger, broth, ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened. Taste for seasoning.
- Spoon beef into lettuce cups, top with rice, carrots and scallions. Serve a small bowl of the dipping sauce for each diner on the side.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.