Tag Archives: asian recipes

Spicy Asian Minced Beef in Lettuce Cups

Perhaps my favorite Chinese restaurant in New York City is one that is close to my apartment on the East River midtown, the glorious Mr. Chow’s. One of my favorite dishes is minced chicken served in lettuce cups. So when I started to read Nigella Lawson’s cookbook years ago “Forever Summer” she had me with that title by the way.  No surprise here that one of my favorite dishes would be her Thai Crumbled Beef in Lettuce Wraps! I’ve made this dish many , many times, especially for a quick week night recipe when you are looking for something light to eat, quick to make and delicious to eat. Below is my twist on her recipe, clearly inspired by the many Asian versions of minced meat served in lettuce. You will definitely want to try this recipe!

From by the bay, wishing you lovely food memories cupped in  lettuce!


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Spicy Asian Minced Beef in Lettuce Cups

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s  cookbook “Forever Summer”


1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 red bird’s eye red chili, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound ground sirloin beef

1 tablespoon thai fish sauce ( nam pia)

4 scallions, white and light greens parts only, finely chopped

zest and juice of one lime

4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 head of iceberg or romaine lettuce, leaves separated


Put the oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and when warm add the finely chopped chillies and garlic cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add the beef, turn up the heat and, break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon or fork, cook for 3 or 4 minutes till no trace of pink remains. Add the fish sauce and, still stirring, cook till the liquid’s evaporated. Off the heat, stir in the spring onions, zest and juice of the lime and most of the cilantro. Arrange the lettuce leaves on to a platter and fill each lettuce cup with a few spoonfuls of the spicy ground meat mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Asian Style Barbecue Beef Short Ribs

Boneless beef short ribs are larger, more tender and meatier than their pork counterparts – making it a perfect barbecue food. I decided to make these short ribs using some of my favorite Asian flavors – ginger, garlic, cinnamon and star anise to braise the meat and infuse with these flavors, then make a barbecue sauce to brush on the ribs, as they caramelize on the grill. The result is meat that is slightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and packed with flavor. It’s really simple to make and the results are terrific.
From by the bay wishing you asian style food memories!
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Asian Style Barbecue Beef Short Ribs
Serves 4-6

For the ribs
21/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
2 star anise
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch piece ginger, peeled
chopped scallions to garnish
For barbecue sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup cooking water from ribs
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
Place short ribs in a large cooking pot with star anise, cinnamon, garlic and ginger. Add water to just cover the ribs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cover with a lid for 45 minutes. Remove the ribs and place on a platter, covering with some foil. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water for the barbecue sauce. To make the sauce, add to a medium sauce pan the hoisin sauce, ketchup, cooking water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame seed oil. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes. Preheat the grill . Brush the short ribs with the barbecue sauce and grill for 8 to 10 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.