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Prep 25 mins
Cook 7 mins
Just about any large leaf lettuce can be used to create cups or folded packets for this spicy Szechuan-style dish of ground beef. The filling is also good on flour tortillas or pita pockets with shredded lettuce. It makes a great warm weather light dinner, perfect for sharing with friends! This recipe was printed in the food section of the December 17, 2008 Houston Chronicle and was adapted from "Quick and Easy Chinese".
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry (or white wine or Shaoxing wine)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 lb lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces water chestnuts, drained and diced
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 20 cup-shaped lettuce leaves (such as iceberg,bibb or Boston)
- In a small bowl,combine soy sauce,sherry,cornstarch, sugar and salt; stir well and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, use a spoon to break up the ground beef; gently mix in soy-sauce mixture. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes.
- Heat wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.
- Add oil and swirl to coat pan; add ginger and garlic.
- Cook for about 1 minute, stirring, until fragrant but not browned.
- Crumble in beef, and use spatula or large slotted spoon to break it up and spread meat over pan to help it cook evenly.
- Cook until it changes color on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Turn meat and cook another minute undisturbed.
- Toss well, using a spatula to break up any large chunks.
- When meat is cooked, add pepper flakes and scallions, then toss well.
- Add sesame oil and remove from heat, tossing until sesame oil is well blended.
- Transfer meat to serving plate; serve hot,warm or at room temperature.
- Arrange lettuce cups on serving platter; fill each with a spoonful of beef or provide lettuce cups and plate of beef and let guests assemble lettuce packets themselves.