Chili beef with lettuce wraps

I went to my to-go Asian restaurant and finally tried their bibimpab and I was all excited to make it at home. Then I realized that I didn’t have all of the ingredients. It was such a sad day. I was scratching my head even where I could get some kimchi. I didn’t want to keep buying groceries since I had all of the things in my pantry, so I went to Target (god bless Target) and stocked up on some essentials. I grabbed some lime (didn’t have some) some toasted sesame oil, and some red chili flakes.

I was going to have my Asian food fantasy at home whether I wanted or not! So this is what I came up with. This version will feed up to 4 people, but I wanted to have a lot of left overs (and I need to cook 2 pounds of beef) so I essentially cut my recipe in half for you all. Here’s my quick chili beef with lettuce wraps (you can make this and put it in a rice bowl. It is delicious)


  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 lbs of beef
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Red chili flakes (I like it spicy, so I added a LOT)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (I had light brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (it is the “umami” bomb
  • 1 zest & juice of a lime (I had 1/3 of a cup of juice. It was super juicy) If you have acid reflux, you can add less. If your lemon is not super juicy, you can add some water as well.
  • Spring onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste. If you have Kosher salt, use with caution. If you have some sea salt, go all out. As always, to your taste!
  • Rice or lettuce wraps

Sauce or dressing.

  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (you can use Tamari sauce if you are gfree)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (not the same as TOASTED, just saying)
  • Red chili flakes, to taste
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Brown sugar,
  • 1 tsp of Olive oil

I started with 1 tsp of the fish sauce and brown sugar for the sauce. Add more if you like

How to make it

  • Add some Olive oil to the pan. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Brown the beef in batches. This can take up to 7 minutes.
  • Drain the remaining oil. That way the beef stays brown and crunchy. Put the beef in a bowl. Add some toasted sesame oil (I added 1 tablespoon), minced garlic, chili and ginger. I used red chili pepper flakes. If you want to use some actual red chilis you do you! I didn’t find any, so I’m sticking to the flakes. I also use it because its always in my pantry.

Add the brown sugar (I added 1 tablespoon) mix well. Add the beef. Mix well. Check your seasonings! If you want it spicy, you can add more chili flakes to it. You need to balance it out? Add more brown sugar.

  • Add the fish sauce, juice and zest of the lemon together. I poured half of this mixture, tasted it, and then adjusted as needed!
  • Add green onions to the mix.

    Ps: green onion and scallions are all the same. (At least in my mind). If you do not have green onions/scallions, you can do this with shallots. If you do not have shallots, you can add some onion, but not a lot

    In a small bowl, add all of the ingredients for the dressing. Same as before, taste, taste, taste! Adjust as you go along!

Serve with some lettuce wraps! I had romaine lettuce that I chopped to make some “bowls”. Bibb lettuce works awesomely too. If you don’t want that, you can make this into a bowl. Just plate with some rice. You can also use this with tacos!

Let me me know if you like this recipe! I added this to my instagram story! let me know if you want for me to post some of the steps on my insta’!!

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