Curry-Scented Grilled Beef Lettuce Wraps Recipe

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Joyce Terry Modified: March 25, 2022
Curry-Scented Grilled Beef Lettuce Wraps Recipe

How To Make Curry-Scented Grilled Beef Lettuce Wraps

These satisfying beef lettuce wraps are packed with curried meat and tender rice noodles. They’re paired with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



For Beef Patties:

  • cupunsalted roasted peanuts,or cashews, finely chopped, brimming
  • 3medium green onions,white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1tbspMadras-style curry powder,preferably Sun brand
  • ¾tsprecently ground black pepper
  • 3tbspwater
  • 1tbspoyster sauce,brimming
  • 1tbspfish sauce
  • lbsground beef,(about 85 percent lean)

For Nuoc Cham:

  • tbspsugar,or 3 to 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4tbspfresh lime juice
  • ½cupwarm water,or as needed
  • 2tspjapanese rice vinegar,unseasoned, optional
  • 4tbspfish sauce
  • 2orThai or serrano chiles,thinly sliced and seeds intact, or 2 to 3 tsp chile garlic sauce, or sambal oelek, optional
  • 1largegarlic clove,minced, optional
  • ½smallcarrot,cut into thin matchsticks or coarsely grated, optional

For Curried Beef Lettuce Wraps:

  • 6ozsmall dried round rice noodles,(maifun) or 8 oz dried rice capellini or thin spaghetti
  • leaves from 1 head of soft-leaf lettuce,such as butter, Boston, or red or green leaf
  • 8bushy sprigs fresh mint,or basil
  • 12sprigs fresh cilantro

Optional Add Ins:

  • 2orThai or serrano chiles,thinly sliced and seeds intact, or 2 to 3 tsp chile garlic sauce or sambal oelek, optional
  • 1largegarlic clove,minced
  • ½smallcarrot,cut into thin matchsticks or coarsely grated


  1. Form the patties:


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped peanuts, green onions, curry powder, black pepper, water, oyster sauce, and fish sauce.

  2. Add the beef and mix with fingers. (If not cooking right away, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Form into 24 patties, each a good 2 inches wide and ½ inch thick. Set aside.

Nuoc Cham:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar (or 3 tablespoons of the maple syrup), 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, and the water.

  2. Taste the limeade and, if needed, add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons sugar (or 1 tablespoon maple syrup) and/or 1 tablespoon lime juice.

  3. Dilute with water if needed. If there’s an unpleasant tart-bitter edge, add the vinegar to fix the flavor.

  4. Add the fish sauce to the bowl depending on the brand and taste. Aim for a bold, forward finish that’s a little gutsy. (Keep in mind that this sauce typically dresses dishes that include unsalted ingredients such as lettuce and herbs which will need an extra flavor lift.)

  5. If desired, add the chiles, garlic, and/or carrot. The sauce can sit at room temperature for up to 8 hours until serving.


  1. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil, add the noodles, and return to a boil. Cook until tender-chewy (package instructions are often not helpful, so test a strand—this can take anywhere between 2 and 8 minutes).

  2. Drain, rinse with water, drain again, and let cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Since the noodles are unwieldy, arrange them as 2-inch nests on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Set at the table with the dipping sauce, lettuce, and fresh herbs.

To Serve:

  1. Lightly oil a cast-iron stove-top grill pan (or lightly film a heavy skillet with oil) and set over medium-high heat.

  2. In batches, add the beef and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turning midway, until medium to medium-well done. (These are usually not eaten medium-rare, but cook for less time, if desired.) Transfer to a platter and let cool for a few minutes.

  3. Build lettuce wraps with herbs, noodles, and beef. For easier eating, break or cut each patty into a few bite-size pieces.

  4. Set the sauce at the table or portion it out in small bowls in advance of serving. Dunk in the sauce and eat.


  • Calories: 733.34kcal
  • Fat: 40.81g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.82g
  • Trans Fat: 2.01g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 18.27g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.04g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.16g
  • Fiber: 5.45g
  • Sugar: 10.77g
  • Protein: 37.96g
  • Cholesterol: 120.77mg
  • Sodium: 2105.89mg
  • Calcium: 143.37mg
  • Potassium: 918.14mg
  • Iron: 7.88mg
  • Vitamin A: 198.06µg
  • Vitamin C: 16.14mg
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