Each night before bed, I make it a point to watch one of Gordon Ramsay’s cooking videos on YouTube. Selma likes to make fun of me for it but after she tried these amazing chili beef lettuce wraps, her laughter turned into songs of praise. Well it probably wasn’t that dramatic but I did get the last laugh…I think.
This recipe is similar to the one Chef Ramsay uses but I added a few extra ingredients to put my own spin on things.
What you will need:
- 1 lb of ground beef (or 1/2 lb ground beef and 1/2 lb ground pork)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- Hand full of cilantro, roughly chopped
- 4-5 Thai chili’s, sliced
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp of fish sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- Lettuce of your choosing. Romaine hearts work well in my opinion.
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 Thai chili, sliced
- Small handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Juice of a lime wedge
Step 1: Prep everything you need before hand. This includes chopping and dicing everything so it’s ready when you need it. The last thing you want is your garlic to burn as you frantically scramble to dice up your ginger.
Step 2: Season your meat with salt and pepper.
Step 3: In a hot pan (just starting to smoke), cook your ground meat until it’s done. Your pan should be nice and hot or else you won’t get any color or texture on the meat. Drain the excess fat/oil and set aside in a bowl. This will prevent everything from getting soggy later on down the road.
Step 4: In the same pan over low heat, combine the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, shallots, chilis and brown sugar. Go easy on the chili’s because these little guys pack a lot of heat. Unfortunately we learned that the hard way the first time we made this.
Once the sugar begins to caramelize, mix in the ground meat.
Step 5: Add in your fish sauce and hoisin sauce and toss evenly. Careful with the fish sauce because it packs a lot of flavor and salt. Remember you can always add more but you can never take away.
Step 6: Right at the very end, add in your fresh green onions, cilantro and lime juice. This will give your lettuce wraps some crunch and some zest.
Step 7: Make the dipping sauce. Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, olive oil, chili’s, cilantro and lime juice in a small dish and give everything a good stir.
Step 8: Assemble and enjoy!
And there you have it, a simple and healthy meal or appetizer that is sure to please. It does require a bit of prep work ahead of time and a handful of ingredients but this dish is just too good not to try. You can also sub ground beef for chicken, pork, turkey or even tofu if you’re a vegetarian. And after you’ve made it once, it becomes incredibly easy to whip everything together on the fly.
And with that, happy eating and thanks for reading!