Teriyaki Beef Lettuce Wraps

I’ve been making a concerted effort to get back into my kitchen this year. I’ve been trying to plan the week’s menu ahead of time and it’s been helpful to know what’s coming! I truly enjoy everything about cooking, from discovering a new recipe to shopping for the ingredients to creating something delicious out of a pile of stuff. The truth is that I just don’t have the time to spend all day in the kitchen, so quick preparation is key!

With the weather starting to warm up, the food I’m craving is changing. Instead of the stick-to-your-ribs comfort food of winter, I’m ready for lighter, brighter meals. Remember when I made pork lettuce wraps? They are kind of a taco, but with lettuce instead of a tortilla. There’s a restaurant near here that has delicious Thai beef lettuce wraps, and I was inspired to make a beef version of my own!

For this dish, it’s all about the meat. I picked up a flank steak and spruced up a teriyaki marinade with jalapeño, lime juice, and fresh ginger. (A plain teriyaki sauce would be delicious with these ingredients, too.) I made the marinade right in a plastic freezer bag and added the steak, gave it a good massage, and let it hang out in the fridge for a few hours. The longer it sits in the marinade, the more flavorful the meat will be!

When it got closer to dinner time, I prepped the rest of the filling ingredients by chopping red onion, more jalapeño, and bell pepper. I steamed some edamame (soy beans!) and shelled them and chopped some water chestnuts.

The “tortillas” in these “tacos” are big lettuce leaves. I get these heads of “living lettuce” that still have a root ball attached and seem to stay fresher longer. I washed 6 or 7 leaves and patted them dry and kept them refrigerated until it was time to eat.

John was in charge of grilling the steak, but he brought me the leftover marinade. I boiled it on the stove and let it reduce a bit to be served as extra sauce with our lettuce wraps. While the steak grilled, I sautéed the veggies with a big splash of the teriyaki sauce, just for a few minutes. That’s the extent of cooking for this yummy dinner! So easy.

To serve the lettuce wraps, I piled the delicious chopped steak on one side of a big bowl and filled the other side with the veggies. I chopped a bit of fresh basil to sprinkle over the top along with some sesame seeds. John loves those crunchy Chow Mein noodles, so I added a handful of those. I arranged the lettuce leaves on a separate plate and we made our own wraps, just the way we like them!

Before I took a bite, I spooned some additional sauce over my wrap and gave it a squeeze of lime. After I took a bite, I added a squirt of Sriracha for more heat. These lettuce wraps are delicious and so fun! The lettuce is fresh and crisp but wraps around the filling easily. I didn’t overcook the veggies so they still had a bite to them. I liked the texture the sesame seeds and Chow Mein noodles gave my wrap, but the real star is the meat. The flank steak was so flavorful, thanks to a few hours in the marinade!

Let’s be honest. Everybody loves taco night, and lettuce wraps are their lighter cousin. You can fill them with whatever you like, and -bonus- there’s a salad already built in! I’m ready for warm weather and more fresh meals like this one!

Teriyaki Beef Lettuce Wraps

You’ll need:

  • Flank steak
  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce or teriyaki marinade
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped and divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 lime
  • Head of lettuce with large leaves separated, rinsed, and patted dry
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup shelled edamame
  • Chopped basil, sesame seeds, and Chow Mein noodles for garnish

In a large freezer bag, mix the teriyaki sauce, half of the chopped jalapeño, the ginger, and the juice of half of the lime. Add the steak, close the bag, and massage to make sure the meat is coated with the marinade. Place in the freezer to marinate for at least 3 hours.

At dinnertime, grill the steak to your liking and set aside to rest. Meanwhile, boil the leftover marinade for a few minutes to reduce. Heat a swirl of olive oil in a pan. Sautee the onion, bell pepper, the rest of the jalapeño, and the edamame over medium high heat. Add a splash of the teriyaki sauce.

Chop the steak into bite sized pieces. Place it in a large bowl with the sautéed veggies. Top with some sesame seeds and basil. Serve alongside the plate of prepared lettuce leaves with Chow Mein noodles and a lime wedge on the side. Scoop the steak and veggies into the leaves and eat like a taco! YUM!

Hungry for more? Check out the recipe collection on the FOOD BLISS page!

One year ago: I shared some lessons from one month of Mommyhood.

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