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Thai Crumbled Beef in Lettuce Wraps

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

One of the joys of this is how easy and quick it is to make. If you're having people over to dinner midweek, you could make this as a first course before a plain roast chicken and provide a full-on dinner with next to no effort.

You may need to be rather brutal with the lettuce as you tear the leaves off to provide the edible wrappers for the beef, which is why I specify one to two icebergs. If you want to perk the leaves up a little, making sure they curve into appropriate respositories for later, leave them in a sinkful of very cold water while you cook the minced beef, then make sure you drain them well before piling them up on their plate.

One of the joys of this is how easy and quick it is to make. If you're having people over to dinner midweek, you could make this as a first course before a plain roast chicken and provide a full-on dinner with next to no effort.

You may need to be rather brutal with the lettuce as you tear the leaves off to provide the edible wrappers for the beef, which is why I specify one to two icebergs. If you want to perk the leaves up a little, making sure they curve into appropriate respositories for later, leave them in a sinkful of very cold water while you cook the minced beef, then make sure you drain them well before piling them up on their plate.

Thai Crumbled Beef in Lettuce Wraps
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Metric Cups
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 red bird's eye chillies (finely chopped)
  • 375 grams minced beef
  • 1 scant tablespoon thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 4 spring onions (dark green bits removed, finely chopped)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 iceberg lettuces
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 red bird's eye chiles (finely chopped)
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 1 scant tablespoon thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 4 scallions (dark green bits removed, finely chopped)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 iceberg lettuces

Method

  1. Put the oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and when warm add the finely chopped chillies and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. It's wiser not to leave the pan, as you don't want them to burn. Add the beef, turn up the heat and, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon or fork, cook for 3 or 4 minutes till no trace of pink remains. Add the fish sauce and, still stirring, cook till the liquid's evaporated. Off the heat, stir in the spring onions, zest and juice of the lime and most of the coriander. Turn into a bowl, and sprinkle over the remaining coriander just before serving.
  2. Arrange the iceberg lettuce leaves on another plate - they should sit one on top of another easily enough - and let people indulge in a little DIY at the table, filling cold crisp leaves with spoonfuls of sharp, spicy, hot, crumbled meat.
  1. Put the oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and when warm add the finely chopped chillies and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. It's wiser not to leave the pan, as you don't want them to burn. Add the beef, turn up the heat and, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon or fork, cook for 3 or 4 minutes till no trace of pink remains. Add the fish sauce and, still stirring, cook till the liquid's evaporated. Off the heat, stir in the scallions, zest and juice of the lime and most of the coriander. Turn into a bowl, and sprinkle over the remaining coriander just before serving.
  2. Arrange the iceberg lettuce leaves on another plate - they should sit one on top of another easily enough - and let people indulge in a little DIY at the table, filling cold crisp leaves with spoonfuls of sharp, spicy, hot, crumbled meat.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • Oh my...that was soooooo easy and scrumptious, hubbybloved it too, thanks Nigella x

    Posted by Yvonne5 on 8th April 2012
  • what an easy and beautiful recipe...

    Posted by katstale on 16th December 2011
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