Sweet Chilli Beef Lettuce Cups

Sweet Chilli Beef Lettuce Cups

Sweet Chilli Beef Lettuce Cups

These Asian-inspired sweet and spicy lettuce cups can be used as a delicious appetizer or as a main course.

This recipe has quickly become a favorite of mine! The recipe and these delicious prepared lettuce cups (which I made short work of as soon as I finished snapping these photos) come to you courtesy of my wonderful boyfriend and talented home chef, Matthew. I’m a lucky girl!




Don’t forget to stop by Lester’s Farm Market (open 10am to 6pm daily) to pick up your fresh crisp Boston lettuce; grown right here at Lester’s Farm. Along with the delicious ginger, garlic, cilantro and green onions!




  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 kilogram of ground beef (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger diced (large thumb sized piece of ginger root)
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 5 sprigs of green onion (5 bulbs and stalk)
  • 3 small Thai chillis (depending on how hot you want the beef to be, leave as many chilli seeds as you’d like – keeping in mind, the more the seeds, the hotter it will be).
  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • I head of Boston lettuce.
  • Small handful of Cilantro chopped (to garnish)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Thai chilli chopped.
  • Small handful of Cilantro chopped



Heat a large skillet on high heat. Let your pan get very hot. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to pan. Add your ground beef. Sprinkle with a liberal pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until the beef is browned.

While the meat is frying, take the lettuce and carefully remove the individual leaves (they will often fall away quite easily once you cut the bottom bit of the core off the lettuce). Gently wash the leaves, removing any sand or dirt, and use clean dishtowel or paper towel to dry each leaf thoroughly.

Once your meat is browned, use a colander to drain off any fat (if using lean ground beef you may not need to complete this step) Return the beef to the pan and continue frying until the beef is crispy. Set the cooked beef aside in a medium sized bowl.

In the same hot pan, add one teaspoon of sesame oil. Add your chilli, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened (1-2 minutes). Stir in one tablespoon of brown sugar. Add your ground beef back into the pan. Stir everything together and sprinkle in tablespoon of fish sauce and add the juice of one wedge of lime and the spring onions to the pan. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.



Depending on how you choose to serve this dish, you can prefill the lettuce cups or serve family style and allow your guests to build their own lettuce cups. Once you fill lettuce cups sprinkle with some fresh cilantro and pour a small amount (about half a teaspoon) of the sauce over the contents of the lettuce cup. Be careful not to overfill! It makes it tricky (and messier) to eat. (Easier said than done once you taste how delicious they are!)


Did you know: Boston and Bibb lettuces are part of the Butterhead variety of lettuce and have tender, smooth leaves that are the perfect shape for lettuce cups! They are also packed with way more vitamins and nutrients than iceberg lettuce and are an excellent source of Vitamins A, and K! They are also a great source of dietary fibre. What’s not to love?
One of my favourite cartoons! (hehe) Seemed fitting for this recipe with the cute red thai chillies.     Photo Credit:  Jaco Hurry Jeans, Minimalist Illustrations. Retrieved from:

One of my favourite cartoons! (hehe) Seemed fitting for this recipe with the cute red thai chillies.

 Photo Credit: Jaco Hurry Jeans, Minimalist Illustrations. Retrieved from:

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