Incredibly easy yet delicious 15 minute spicy beef lettuce wraps served with a gorgeous Thai lime flavoured dressing. This recipe is healthy, gluten free, low carb and keto friendly. Although when you taste these amazing wraps, none of that even comes to mind, you’ll just think about how good it tastes!
And yes, you can absolutely prepare these wraps in 15 minutes! Cook the meat, wash the lettuce leaves, make the dressing and you’re good to go! Sounds like a low carb lovers paradise to me, but anyone can enjoy this recipe!
So let’s dive right in shall we!
How to make these Wraps
So first, we pan fry the beef. Now I have said it before and I will say it again. Do not add minced beef to a pot/pan that isn’t hot enough. And do not overcrowd a pot/pan with minced beef.
The water content of the beef will flood the pan if you do this. And if necessary, fry the beef in multiple batches.
Fry the beef until crispy and browned, then transfer it onto kitchen paper to drain.
Get the pan back on the stove over medium flame, add a touch more oil and then add your spring onions, garlic and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes.
And finally, add your beef back to the pan, along with your cayenne pepper and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
From there I just like to let the beef cool for a minute or 2, place the clean lettuce leaves out on a platter or board. And then just carefully spoon the beef into the lettuce wraps/cups.
Are these Wraps Healthy?
Healthy fats, low in carbs, it’s great if you’re on a keto diet and overall it’s just a very lean, healthy recipe.
The only sugar/sweetness that’s been added to this recipe is 1 and a half tablespoon of honey, which is added to the dressing to balance out the tang of the fish sauce and the lime.
Now, as someone who has quite an all-round diet, and who isn’t opposed to carbs. I wouldn’t eat this sort of thing every day, however, I could definitely have it on a regular basis.
Alternatives to Beef
Honestly, you can pack these lettuce leaves with whatever you like! Some great alternatives are:
And some vegetarian replacements are:
Tempeh (may not be gluten free, make sure you check the brand)
Seitan (not a gluten free product)
And none of these ingredients needs to be minced or finely chopped. You could make these lettuce wraps with the diced versions of these ingredients.
Also, feel free to experiment with different spices and condiments to flavour these ingredients.
And if you want to make this a vegan recipe, you’ll have to replace the beef with one of the 3 vegetarian replacements. You’ll have to replace the honey with something like sugar or maple syrup. And you will also have to replace the fish sauce, perhaps with something like soy sauce.
Best lettuce for lettuce wraps
Well, the best leaves for a recipe like this would be a leaf that has enough surface area for the beef to go on. And a leaf that has enough stability so that it isn’t flimsy to eat:
- Baby gem lettuce – I personally prefer smaller leaves because they are the easiest to pick up and they are the least flimsy. So baby gem lettuce is definitely a great option.
- Baby coz – Another fantastic, small lettuce leaf that is easy to fill with the beef.
- Iceberg – Not a particularly small leaf, but it is very stable and ice-burg leaves often curl up, so once again, they are easy to fill up.
The Thai Dressing
So the Thai dressing is a beautiful tangy dressing and it is the key element to this recipe because without it the lettuce wraps would be quite plain and dry.
So DO NOT leave out the dressing. Especially when it’s as simple as mixing all of the ingredients together.
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Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps with Thai Lime Dressing
Thai Lime Dressing:
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 fresh red chili sliced
- 5 g of fresh coriander chopped
Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps:
- 100 g of baby gem or cos lettuce leaves washed
- 1 tablespoon of light oil such as vegetable oil or grape-seed oil for frying
- 500 g of beef mince
- 2 spring onions sliced scallions sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 10 g of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
Thai Lime Dressing:
Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined. Set aside whilst you make the beef lettuce wraps.
Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps:
Preheat a pan over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add half of your oil, then add your minced meat (add in 2 batches if you think the pan will be too overcrowded).
Fry the meat until you get a nice brown colour (this should take about 3-5 minutes), season with salt and pepper, then transfer onto kitchen paper.
Add the other half of your oil to the pan, then add your spring onion, garlic and ginger. Fry for a bit longer then add the meat back to the pan.
Add your cayenne pepper, along with a pinch of salt and pepper, mix through and then set aside and to let the mixture cool.
Once the beef has cool down for a minute or 2, place it neatly inside of your lettuce cups.
Serve your beef lettuce wraps on a platter, along with the dressing so everyone can help themselves.
- Don't overcrowd the pan with the beef when cooking it. And don't start cooking the beef in a pan that isn't hot enough. Otherwise, the water content of the beef will flood the pan.
- Let the beef cool down for a minute or 2 before filling the lettuce leaves, otherwise, the leaves will wilt down and go too soft.
- Some great alternatives for minced meat are minced or diced chicken, pork, turkey and shrimp.
- Some great vegetarian alternatives are tofu, tempeh or seitan.
- If you want to make this recipe a vegan recipe. Then you'll need to replace the beef, the honey and the fish sauce with similar vegan alternatives.
- 3 types of lettuce leaves that are great for lettuce wraps are baby gem lettuce, baby coz and iceberg lettuce.
- Don't skip the dressing in this recipe, as it's what makes the whole dish come together.