How to Make Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps

We love flavoring rice with fresh herbs, just about as much as we enjoy riffing on classic Asian lettuce cups. For tonight’s repeat favorite wraps, chopped basil is stirred into steamy jasmine rice to release a truly mouthwatering aroma. Topped with saucy beef, water chestnuts, and peanuts, the basil rice soaks up every last drop of flavor for a hands-on dinner experience you won’t soon forget.

.5 cup jasmine rice
.5 ounce ginger
3 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts
.25 cup water chestnuts
.5 ounce basil
.125 ounce cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 head butter lettuce
12 ounces ground beef
.5 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons Sriracha
canola oil
kosher salt
black pepper


1. Cook Rice

In a small pot, cook rice according to package instructions. Once cooked, fluff with a fork, then cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

2. Prepare Ingredients

While rice cooks, trim and discard skin of ginger and mince. Roughly chop peanuts. Roughly chop water chestnuts. Rinse remaining produce. Roughly chop basil and cilantro leaves, discarding stems and keeping herbs separate. Mince garlic. Pat lettuce dry with paper towel, pull off 6 large leaves for wraps, and divide between serving plates (snack on any remainder, or double up your wraps!).

3. Sauté Aromatics

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add ginger and garlic and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.

4. Brown Beef and Make Sauce

Pat beef dry with paper towel. Return pan with aromatics to medium-high heat and add soy sauce and beef. Season with .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired and cook, breaking up meat, until browned, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and Sriracha (it’s a bit spicy—skip or use half for less heat).

5. Season Beef

Using a slotted spoon, transfer browned beef to bowl with sauce (see Recipe Tip). Stir in water chestnuts and cilantro to combine. Taste and season with .125 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.

6. Plate Thai Lettuce Wraps

Stir basil into pot with rice. Top lettuce wraps with basil rice, then spoon over beef. Garnish with peanuts and dig in!


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