Main Course: Simple Lettuce Wraps


  • 1 pound any lean ground meat 
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small package mushrooms (227 grams), finely chopped or 1 can sliced mushrooms (284 mL), rinsed then drained, finely chopped
  • 1 can water chestnuts (227 mL) or ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup minute rice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil or 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 large or 2 small heads iceberg or bibb lettuce

Directions for Preparation

  1. Cook the first three ingredients in a pot with a lid for 10 minutes. Break up the meat into small pieces as it cooks.  Drain the excess fat.
  2. To the same pot, add the mushrooms and the chestnuts or walnuts. Cook until mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes then add the minute rice.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except for the lettuce. Stir and cover for about 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  4. Cut around the core at the bottom of the lettuce using a small knife. Dig out the core.
  5. Gently peel back each leaf and rinse with cold water. Set on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
  6. To serve, set the table with the lettuce leaves and the hot meat mixture.
  7. To eat, give everyone a spoon and show them how to place a big spoonful of meat mixture in the middle of a lettuce leaf, fold up the sides and eat.

You can replace lettuce in this recipe with 8 small whole wheat tortillas.

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