These Asian beef lettuce wraps are very popular here. They are crunchy, flavorful, very satisfying, and taste authentic. I usually make a big batch hoping to freeze leftovers for later, but that rarely happens. We gobble them up in one sitting. It helps that these lettuce wraps are low-carb and healthy.
Chinese restaurant dishes and bottled stir-fry sauce tend to be heavy on sugar and oil (that’s why they taste so good). But it is not necessary. I have found a combination of a few ingredients that create the depth of authentic flavor. They are sold in most grocery stores, though Asian markets offer a better variety and lower prices. I use the same ingredients for stir-fries as well. Here is a simple list:
|| soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger ||
Keeping these ingredients on hand makes it easy to put together a quick stir-fry or these healthy lettuce wraps from scratch on a busy week night. I sometimes also use oyster sauce, seasoned rice vinegar and/or plum sauce (I buy them in an Asian market). They add an extra layer of flavor but the basic list above is all you really have to have.
The best way to store fresh ginger is in the freezer, cut up in about 1-inch pieces as it doesn’t last long in the refrigerator. I don’t like using prechopped ginger or garlic—they are convenient but the flavor is just not the same.
What are your go-to ingredients for Asian style cooking? Do you have favorite recipes?
Low-carb Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps
2 lbs lean ground beef (can use turkey)
1 tsp canola oil
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh ginger root, finely grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 carrot, shredded
1 can sliced water chestnuts (optional but good for a crunch)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
Head of lettuce (we like iceberg)
4 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
2/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 T oyster sauce (optional)
Sauté ground beef for 8 to 10 min, until beef is no longer pink, push aside, add ginger and garlic, red pepper flakes if using. Cook for a minute, then combine with the ground beef.
Mix in sauce and cook a minute or two longer to combine flavors. Add carrots, green onion and water chestnuts. Turn off the heat.