Thursday, 20 June 2013

Vegetarian Chilli Beef Lettuce Wraps

Occasionally it's good for you go to vegetarian. Not only for your waistline, but for your wallet! This is a brilliant, and fun, alternative to tacos or fajitas. They take no longer than 15 minutes, they're tasty and something that are so easy to improvise and customise depending on who's with you!

Serves 4

800g Mince (Quorn for Vegetarian, Beef or Pork otherwise)
A few cloves of garlic
1/2 a bunch of spring onions
A big nugget of ginger (about the size of a ping-pong ball)
3 red chillies
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Oyster sauce
Gem lettuces (or an Iceberg Lettuce)
A bunch of coriander

I'd encourage EVERYONE to go to their local Asian Supermarket, there are some incredible offers available that will put regular high street supermarkets to shame!
A local high street supermarket had 190ml of Sweet Chilli Sauce on offer for £1.19. Not bad.
I went to my local Asian supermarket and bought 730ml of Sweet Chilli Sauce for £2.25. That's almost 4 times as much, for less than twice the price. It really does pay to go local. These places are much better for things like Oyster Sauce and Sesame Oil, and it's really worth talking to the people who work there, they want to be helpful and want what's best for you!

But back to the recipe...

Get your big frying pan on a medium high heat with a little oil, make sure it's nice and hot and then get your mince in. Spread this round and give it all it's own space on the pan. In the meantime, chop your chillies, spring onions and ginger. Remember to get your seeds out of you chillies if you don't want your socks blowing off!

The easiest way I find to do this is to chop the top off (where the stalk is), then roll the chilli in between your hand upside-down. The seeds will just fall out! Just remember to wash your hands straight away!

Add one of your chillies, a few spring onions, some soy, sesame and oyster sauce to a bowl for a really nice dressing for your mince!

By now your mince should be cooked through, nice, brown and crispy. Drain off any excess oil and pour in about a tablespoon of the sesame seed oil, (this gives the mince a nice nuttiness :) ) and throw in the remaining chilli and chopped ginger.

After a few minutes splash in a few glugs of the Oyster Sauce and Soy sauce (that'll give it a really authentic Chinese taste) and the spring onions, make sure the sauce is hot, lightly caramelized and cooked through.

To serve, chop off the bottom inch of the iceberg lettuce to create small lettuce cups, or if you have gem lettuces they're already good to go!

All that's left is for you to enjoy!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy it, and if you're enjoying the blog so far why not subscribe? Or just leave a nice little comment! :)




  1. Hey Dan! All these look wonderful! May I suggest that you add photos of the ingredients you started off with, some progress photos and then the final outcome?

    1. Sure Amy, that sounds like a great idea!
      I would really help me explain the colours and textures a lot more too!