clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
chinese lettuce cups with beef

Beef San Choy Bao (Chinese Lettuce Cups )

  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x



2 lb ground beef

1/2 onion, diced

1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

5 oz mushrooms, diced

1 large carrot, diced

8 oz can diced water chestnuts

15 oz can baby corn, chopped

1.5 tablespoons of dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar

2 tablespoons hoi sin sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 head of iceberg lettuce

2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

sesame seeds to garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pan or wok, brown the ground beef over high heat until cooked (about 7-10 minutes) then use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan, leaving the fat behind.
  2. To the hot fat add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook stirring frequently until the onions are starting to brown on the edges. Then add the beef back into the pan.
  3. Add in the carrot and mushrooms, and cook a further two minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Add the water chestnuts and baby corn, then the soy, vinegar and hoi sin sauce. Stir and cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Dissolve the corn starch in enough water to cover it, then add it to the beef mixture. Cook a further 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens.
  6. Prepare the iceberg lettuce cups by slicing down on either side of the stem, then carefully separating out the cups by hand – these can be one or two layers thick.
  7. Taste the beef mixture, then add salt as (or if) needed.
  8. Spoon the beef mixture into the lettuce cups, then sprinkle with some of the sesame seeds. Serve immediately.