Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps

Spring lettuces aren’t just for salads. Here, wrapped around beef and spices, they hold the key to a happy mouth.

March 14, 2011

Asian cultures have known for hundreds (if not thousands) of years that wrapping things in lettuce makes an amazing snack or meal. Too bad the restaurant industry got their claws on the idea and fiddled with its simple brilliance. Now wraps at places like P.F. Chang's and Cheesecake Factory are overwrought affairs packing as many calories into an appetizer as you should have in an entire meal. Consider this Vietnamese-inspired version a blissful, healthy, flavor-packed return to the wrap's humble roots.

12 oz flank, skirt, or sirloin steak
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp hot sauce (we like sriracha)
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of lime, plus wedges as garnish
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 carrot, grated
1 head Bibb lettuce, leaves separated

1. Heat the grill to hot or heat a grill pan over high heat for at least 5 minutes. Season the steak with salt and pepper and toss it onto the grill. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until it's firm but yielding to the touch. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
2. Combine the hot sauce, fish sauce, and juice of 1 lime in a small saucepan over low heat.
3. Slice the steak thinly (if it's flank or skirt steak, be sure to cut across the grain) and drizzle half of the warm sauce over it. Set out the jalapeno and onion slices, cilantro, carrot, and lettuce, along with the lime wedges and sauce. 
4. Use the leaves like tortillas to wrap up the steak slices with the other ingredients.


Nutritional Facts per serving:
Calories: 330.5 cal
Fat: 14.5 g
Saturated fat: 5.9 g
Cholesterol: 69.7 mg
Sodium: 1773.9 mg
Carbohydrates: 10.5 g
Total sugars: 4.8 g
Dietary fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 39 g