Vietnamese Beef Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Beef lettuce wraps are a fantastic dish that offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors. This Vietnamese beef lettuce wraps recipe is not only ...

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Calvin Lamb

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beef lettuce wraps recipe

Beef lettuce wraps are a fantastic dish that offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors. This Vietnamese beef lettuce wraps recipe is not only easy to prepare but also incredibly tasty. The combination of savory ground beef, crisp lettuce, and aromatic herbs makes it a perfect choice for a light lunch or a dinner appetizer. Personally, I love this dish for its refreshing taste and versatility. It’s great for casual family meals or when you want to impress guests with a healthy, yet delicious option.

Choosing the Right Main Ingredient

When it comes to making the perfect beef lettuce wraps, the quality of the main ingredient is crucial. Opt for high-quality ground beef with a good balance of lean and fat content. This ensures that the meat remains juicy and flavorful. If you prefer a leaner option, you can choose ground beef with lower fat content, but remember to add a bit of oil during cooking to keep it moist.

Seasoning the Beef

Seasoning is key to making these Vietnamese beef lettuce wraps burst with flavor. But what makes the best seasoning for ground beef? A combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and a touch of maple syrup works wonders. The soy sauce adds umami, the rice vinegar provides a tangy kick, garlic offers a robust base, and the maple syrup balances everything with a hint of sweetness. Don’t forget to add red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, and fresh herbs like cilantro and basil to brighten the dish.

Recommended Cooking Equipment

To achieve the best results, you’ll need the right cooking equipment. Here’s a list of essential tools:

  1. Wok or Large Skillet: Perfect for evenly cooking the ground beef and veggies.
  2. Sharp Knife: For chopping veggies finely.
  3. Mixing Bowls: To prepare and mix sauces and seasonings.
  4. Tongs: Handy for stirring and serving.
  5. Plates or Platters: To arrange the lettuce cups and fillings.

How to Use Equipment Effectively

Using a wok or large skillet is essential for this recipe. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  1. Preheat the Wok/Skillet: Ensure it is hot before adding oil. This helps in searing the meat quickly, locking in juices and flavors.
  2. Cook in Batches: If making a large quantity, cook the beef in small batches to avoid overcrowding, which can lead to steaming instead of browning.
  3. Stir-Fry Technique: Use high heat and keep stirring to cook the beef evenly and quickly.
  4. Deglaze the Pan: After cooking the beef, deglaze the pan with a bit of sauce or stock to capture all the flavorful bits stuck to the bottom.

Comprehensive Beef Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Yield: 4

Vietnamese Beef Lettuce Wraps

beef lettuce wraps recipe

Vietnamese Beef Lettuce Wraps Recipe has always been a favorite of mine. The combination of savory ground beef, crisp lettuce, and fresh herbs creates a delightful blend of textures and flavors. It's a refreshing and versatile dish that’s perfect for any meal, making it both satisfying and healthy.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 head of lettuce (Bibb or Romaine), leaves separated
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Fresh cilantro and basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • Asian brown rice noodles (optional)


  1. Prepare the Lettuce Cups: Wash and separate the lettuce leaves. Pat them dry and set aside.
  2. Cook the Beef: Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion, and sauté until fragrant. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it apart with a spatula.
  3. Add Vegetables: Stir in the diced red bell pepper and shredded carrots. Cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Season the Beef: In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes. Pour this mixture over the beef and vegetables. Stir well to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Prepare Optional Noodles: If using Asian brown rice noodles, cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  6. Assemble the Wraps: Place a spoonful of the beef mixture onto each lettuce leaf. Top with fresh cilantro, basil, and chopped peanuts. If using, add a small amount of cooked rice noodles to each wrap.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Arrange the wraps on a platter and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 320Total Fat: 22gCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 20g

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Serving Suggestions and Suitable Side Dishes

These Vietnamese beef lettuce wraps are versatile and can be served as an appetizer, main course, or part of a larger meal. Here are some serving suggestions and side dishes to complement your wraps:

  • Serve with Asian Brown Rice Noodles: A light and flavorful addition that pairs well with the beef.
  • Side of Veggie Lo Mein: Another great accompaniment that enhances the Asian-inspired flavors.
  • Fresh Spring Rolls: Light and refreshing, these make a perfect starter.
  • Cucumber Salad: A crisp and cool salad to balance the savory wraps.
  • Peanut Dipping Sauce: A rich and creamy sauce that adds an extra layer of flavor.

Useful Cooking Tips

  • Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh cilantro and basil add a burst of flavor and brightness to the wraps. Don’t skip these!
  • Adjust Seasonings to Taste: Feel free to adjust the soy sauce, vinegar, and maple syrup according to your taste preference.
  • Prep Ahead: You can prepare the beef mixture ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve. This makes it an excellent dish for meal prepping.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overcooking the Beef: Ground beef cooks quickly. Overcooking can make it dry and less flavorful.
  • Overfilling the Wraps: Don’t overload the lettuce leaves with too much filling. This makes them difficult to eat and messy.
  • Skipping the Lettuce Drying Step: Make sure the lettuce leaves are completely dry before assembling. Wet leaves can make the wraps soggy.


Vietnamese beef lettuce wraps are a delightful dish that is both healthy and flavorful. This recipe is easy to follow and perfect for any occasion, from casual dinners to special gatherings. With the right ingredients, proper seasoning, and a few cooking tips, you can create a dish that is sure to impress. Enjoy the refreshing taste and versatility of these wraps, and don’t hesitate to get creative with your fillings and sides.

Remember to share this Vietnamese beef lettuce wraps recipe with friends and family, and let us know how it turned out for you. Happy cooking!

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