|This is the first time I've made lettuce wraps with beef, and they were a treat for Phase One.|
How about another new recipe for lettuce wraps for our Month of Daily Phase One recipes? You may have noticed I have quite a few recipes for lettuce wraps, and they're on the menu often at my house. When I tried this new variation, I fell for these Quick Sriracha Beef Lettuce Wraps in a big way. Only a few days after the original batch you see in these photos was gone, I was already making them again, partly because I bought two heads of iceberg lettuce, and all the other ingredients in this recipe are things I always have in the fridge or freezer. There are a lot of flavors like fish sauce, lime, green onion, and cilantro going on here with the beef and Sriracha Sauce, and if you like Thai flavors I feel confident saying you're probably going to love this recipe as much as I did. And for cilantro-haters, I would recommend just doubling the amount of green onions and I think this would still be very flavorful without the cilantro.
While the beef cooks, mix together the fish sauce, Sriracha Sauce, and water. (The first time I made these I was a bit wimpy on the Sriracha Sauce, but I bumped it up in my second version. You decide how much heat you can handle.)
Also zest one large lime and squeeze the juice, slice the green onions and chop the cilantro (or double the amount of green onions if you don't want cilantro.)
When the beef is done, stir in the Sriracha Sauce mixture and let it sizzle until the water has evaporated. Then turn off the heat and stir in the lime zest, lime juice, green onions, and chopped cilantro. You're done! You could probably make this easily in 20 minutes if you're an experienced chopper.
Eat immediately with iceberg lettuce to fold around the meat. I found a large head of lettuce, but you may want two heads because usually the very inner leaves aren't big enough for making a lettuce wrap.
(Makes 3-4 servings or 6-8 lettuce wraps; recipe adapted from Nigella Fresh.)
2 tsp. neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed or peanut oil
1 lb. lean ground beef (use ground beef with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
1 T fish sauce (I like Three Crabs Fish sauce by far the best)
1-2 T Sriracha Sauce (depending on how much heat you want)
1 T water
zest from one large lime
juice from one large lime (about 1 1/2 T juice)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion (or double that amount if you're not using the cilantro)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, then saute the beef until it's cooked through and starting to brown, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks.
While beef cooks, mix together the fish sauce, Sriracha Sauce, and water in a small bowl. Zest the skin of the lime and squeeze the juice. (You may need two limes to get enough juice, but only use the zest from one lime.) Thinly slice the green onions and chop the cilantro. (Most iceberg lettuce doesn't need washing, but if yours does break the heads apart gently and wash and dry the lettuce.)
When the beef is done, add the Sriracha Sauce mixture and let it sizzle until the water has evaporated, stirring a few times to get the flavor mixed through the meat. Turn off the heat and stir in the lime zest, lime juice, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro.
Serve meat mixture with iceberg lettuce leaves to fill with meat and wrap around it, to be eaten with your hands.
This was definitely still good when the meat mixture was kept in the fridge and reheated for a very short time in the microwave, but I liked it best freshly made.
South Beach Suggestions:
As long as you use ground beef with less than 10% fat, this is a great recipe for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
More Phase One Ideas with Lettuce Wraps:
Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps with Capers and Tomatoes
Lettuce Wrap Fish Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw and Avocado
Asian Lettuce Wraps with Pork, Napa Cabbage, and Red Bell Pepper
Thai-Inspired Turkey Mini-Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Asian Lettuce Cups (or wraps) with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling