chef ramsay's twist on asian lettuce wraps

Chef Ramsay’s Twist on Asian Lettuce Wraps: Spicy Beef Delight

Embrace the vibrant and fresh taste of Asian cuisine with this comprehensive guide to making your Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps. A selection of flavorful recipes and ingredients awaits, tailored to delight your palate and enrich your culinary skills.

Asian Lettuce Wraps charm diners with their savory fillings and crisp lettuce leaves, offering a refreshing balance to each bite. This dish is a joy to eat and aligns with health-conscious trends, emphasizing lean proteins and fresh vegetables.

Spicy Beef Asian Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Spicy Beef Asian Lettuce Wrap Recipe

When the sizzle of the pan meets the snap of fresh lettuce, culinary worlds collide in the most delightful way. Here we have a recipe that weaves together the piquancy of well-seasoned beef with the refreshment of a crisp leafy embrace, inviting your taste buds on a journey through textures and flavors designed to both comfort and intrigue.

4.4 from 24 votes


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  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil

  • ½ lb. of Lean 90% / Fat 10% ratio minced, chopped beef

  • ½ lb. minced, chopped pork

  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped

  • 2 in. piece of fresh root ginger, peeled, finely chopped

  • 1–2 red chilies, deseeded and chopped

  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce

  • Zest of 1 Fresh lime, Juice of 1/3

  • 3 Scallion, trimmed and chopped

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 Heads Boston butter lettuce, separate leaves, to serve

  • For Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce

  • The Juice of ½ lime

  • 1 Tsp sesame oil

  • ½ red chili sliced thinly

  • A bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped

  • 2 Tsp. fish sauce, to taste

  • 1 Tsp. light brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil


  • Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Mix the minced beef and pork. Mix well with salt and pepper to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed. Fry the mince in the hot pan for 5–7 minutes until crisp and brown and broken down to a fine consistency. Drain the crisped mince in a sieve; this will help it stay crispy. Set aside.
  • Wipe out the pan and add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chili. Fry with a pinch of salt and sugar for 2 minutes. Add the drained mince and stir to mix.
  • Add the fish sauce and heat through. Stir in the lime zest and Juice, then add the spring onions, stirring for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste.
  • Spoon some mince mixtures into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with a little dressing, and serve.

Recipe Video

What to Eat with Asian Lettuce Wraps?

Asian lettuce wraps can be enjoyed with various side dishes and accompaniments. Some popular options include:

  • Rice or Noodles: A side of steamed rice or stir-fried noodles complements the lightness of the lettuce wraps and helps to make the meal more filling.
  • Asian Slaw: A crunchy slaw made with cabbage, carrots, and a tangy Asian dressing pairs nicely with the flavors in lettuce wraps.
  • Soup: A light broth-based soup, such as miso soup or hot and sour soup, can be a warming addition to the meal.
  • Dipping Sauces: Offer a selection of dipping sauces like hoisin, soy sauce, peanut sauce, or a spicy chili sauce to add flavor to each bite.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Pickles like kimchi or quick-pickled cucumbers add a tangy, spicy element that contrasts well with the fresh lettuce and filling.

What Kind of Lettuce for Korean Lettuce Wraps?

For Korean lettuce wraps, or “Ssam (쌈),” it’s common to use:

  • Green Leaf Lettuce: This type has large, flexible leaves perfect for holding the various fillings.
  • Red Leaf Lettuce: Similar to green leaf lettuce but with red-tinted edges, offering a colorful presentation.
  • Perilla Leaves: Not technically lettuce, but these leaves are often used in Korean wraps for their unique flavor and aroma.
  • Butter Lettuce: Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce, its soft and pliable leaves make it suitable for wraps.

Is Eating Lettuce Wraps Healthy?

Yes, eating lettuce wraps can be a healthy choice. They typically include:

  • Lean Proteins: Many wraps are filled with lean meats like chicken, turkey, or tofu, which are lower in calories and fat.
  • Vegetables: Adding a variety of vegetables to your wraps increases your intake of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
  • Low-Carb Option: Lettuce wraps can be a low-carb alternative to traditional sandwiches with bread or tortillas.
  • Healthy Fats: Depending on the filling, lettuce wraps can include healthy fats from ingredients like avocados or nuts.

However, the healthiness can vary depending on the fillings and sauces used, so it’s important to consider the overall ingredients to maintain a balanced diet.

Which Lettuce Is Best for Lettuce Wraps?

The best types of lettuce for wraps are sturdy, flexible leaves that can hold the fillings without tearing. Some of the best options include:

  • Iceberg Lettuce: Known for its crisp texture and ability to hold its shape well, making it a popular choice for wraps.
  • Butter Lettuce (Boston or Bibb Lettuce): Its soft buttery leaves create easy wraps to roll and eat.
  • Romaine Lettuce: The leaves are longer and can hold more filling, although they are slightly more rigid than other types.
  • Green Leaf or Red Leaf Lettuce: These lettuces have large, flexible leaves that are ideal for wrapping around ingredients.

Ultimately, the best lettuce for wraps is one that you enjoy the taste and texture of, and that suits the specific dish you’re preparing.

Summing Up

In the crusty arms of a bright green lettuce leaf, the warmth of the tender, spicy beef becomes a handshake between the bold and the delicate. Orient and occident, tradition and innovation, merge in a dish that respects the authenticity of its roots while proudly bearing the signature twists that refresh the senses.

Kitchen alchemy turns simple into spectacular, and each bite becomes more than a morsel; it’s an excursion into the vast possibilities of flavor. Such is the beauty of these wraps: they are unpretentious yet sophisticated, accessible yet beguiling, a culinary paradox that satisfies both the complex palate and the simple hunger. Enjoy Gordon Ramsay’s Asian Lettuce Wraps, and may the last bite leave you sated but curious about the next adventure on your plate.

Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by John Siracusa


  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

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4.4 from 24 votes

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