Laotian Beef Mince Lettuce Wraps (Larb)

Laotian Beef Mince Lettuce Wraps (Larb)

16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger
1 dash Asian chile pepper sauce, or to taste (optional)
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and cooking oil in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes.

Drain and discard grease; transfer beef to a bowl.

Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until slightly tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and chile pepper sauce into onions. Add water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; cook and stir until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center.

Tonight, I’m serving with a small bowl of Jasmine rice and fresh fruit compote.

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