We LOVE lettuce wraps in our house. This garlic beef and coconut rice lettuce wrap recipe is a staple weeknight meal for us. It makes far more than we eat for dinner as a family of 4 so it’s perfect when meal prepping lunches for work. The garlic-y, salty, slightly crispy beef is lightened up a bit with loads of diced cucumber mixed in. I know, cucumbers sauteed with ground beef may sound weird at first but trust me on this one, it’s aaaaaamazing. Load up pieces of crisp, fresh butter lettuce with the creamy coconut rice, some garlic beef, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and all the veggie and herb toppings of your choice.
I serve this family style at the table so everyone gets to pick their favorite toppings and make their lettuce wraps exactly how they like them. There are infinite amounts of things you could use as toppings for these, so get creative and use what you have! Our go-to’s are bright bell peppers, shredded carrots, diced green onions, fresh diced jalapeños, quick pickled onions, and all the fresh herbs.
Life-hack: Save yourself some prep time and pickup your toppings at the salad bar of your favorite local market. Pack a box full of pre-cut veggies and anything else that piques your interest and it’s one less thing to do when making dinner.
Garlic Beef and Coconut Rice Lettuce Wraps
- 1.5 lbs ground beef I like 90/10
- ½ cup red onion diced small
- 2 cups seedless cucumber diced small (1/2 a large seedless cucumber)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp chili paste I prefer Sambal Oelek
- ⅓ cup green onions chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- ½ cup carrots shredded for topping
- 1 head butter lettuce
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk canned, full fat
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
Topping options (choose any that you like):
- bell peppers sliced thin
- jalapeños diced small
- fresh mint leaves
- fresh cilantro leaves
- fresh basil leaves
- quick pickled cucumbers and red onions slice and soak in rice vinegar 10+ minutes
- soy sauce
- Heat a large skillet to medium high and add the beef. Break up into small pieces with a wooden spoon as the meat browns, 7-8 minutes.
- Add the red onion and cucumber to the ground beef and sauté 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add ginger, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, chili paste and green onions. Stir to combine and allow liquid to cook into beef 6-8 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Turn heat off while you assemble all lettuce wrap components.
- Tear your butter lettuce leaves off of the stem, rinse and dry with paper towels.
- Assemble one big plate of toppings with the lime wedges, extra chopped green onions and shredded carrots plus any other topping options you chose.
- Scoop a couple spoonfuls of the garlicky beef and the coconut rice into butter lettuce leaves and top with your choice of toppings.
- Combine coconut milk, water and salt in a medium pot and bring to a light simmer over medium high heat.
- Stir in the rice and allow to come up to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a tight fitting lid and let simmer approximately 15 minutes without opening or stirring.
- Turn heat off and let rice sit 5 minutes before removing the lid.
- Remove the lid and fluff lightly with a fork.
I love seeing photos when you make my recipes! Make sure to tag me @katyscookin on Instagram when you make these Garlic Beef and Coconut Rice Lettuce Wraps! Thanks for stopping by!