Chili Beef Lettuce Wraps

The other day I came across Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course on Amazon Prime. I happen to be a huge fan of his, so of course I watched. I’ve already frantically written down two recipes from just the first episode, this being one of the two – Asian-inspired crispy beef and pork, served in lettuce leaves with a fabulous sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

Not surprisingly, all of his recipes on this show were lovely; there are 100 in all – “recipes to stake your life on.” A huge promise, but of course, he’s Chef Ramsay. According to Gordon, “I’m going to teach you amazing food you can cook standing on your head.”

The cookery series consists of ten episodes, originally aired in 2012. “Each episode concentrates on a different theme essential for the modern cook and is packed with useful tips and tricks to save time and money.”

And what’s truly amazing to me, is that Chef Ramsay can talk, non-stop, in his wonderful culinary prose, describing everything he’s doing, and the flavors and smells, all whilst cooking. As my family can attest, I cannot cook and talk. So that impresses me! And, he may not be everybody’s favorite chef, but darn, his passion shows!

Note: In the U.S., where I live, chile peppers cover the whole gamut of smoked, dried, and fresh peppers. They are spelled chile peppers, not chili peppers. Chili is an American meat dish.

However, in other countries like England, chile peppers are spelled chili peppers, and sometimes chilli peppers, or chilis or chillies. Until you know this, you may be confused!

So I’m honoring Chef Ramsay’s recipe name of Chili Beef Lettuce Wraps, named for the little red chile peppers he uses in the recipe!

Chili Beef Lettuce Wraps with Dipping Sauce
Printable recipe below

Olive oil, for frying
200g lean minced beef
200g minced pork
Toasted sesame oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1–2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
Zest of 1 lime, juice of 1/3 lime
3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 little gem lettuces, separated into leaves, to serve

Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Mix the minced beef and pork together. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed. Fry the mince in the hot pan for 5–7 minutes until crisp and brown and broken down to a fine consistency. Drain the crisped mince in a sieve – this will help it stay crispy. Set aside.

Wipe out the pan and add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry with a pinch of salt and the sugar for 2 minutes. Add the drained mince and stir to mix. Add the fish sauce and heat through. Stir in the lime zest and juice, then add the spring onions, stirring for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and adjust to taste.

To serve, spoon some of the mince mixture into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with a little dressing and serve.

Or, if you couldn’t find Little Gem lettuce and had to substitute butter lettuce, and it doesn’t work well for roll-ups, gently slice the lettuce, place on a platter, and cover with the beef mixture

I poured the remaining sauce over the top, and it was wonderful as a salad of sorts!

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1-2 chillies, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Chopped cilantro

Mix all of the ingredients together well. Pour into a small bowl and serve with the lettuce wraps.



By Published On: August 26th, 202144 Comments on Chili Beef Lettuce Wraps

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Bernadette August 26, 2021 at 6:28 AM - Reply

    Mimi, Thanks for the tip and, of course, thanks for sharing the fabulous recipe.

    • chef mimi August 26, 2021 at 1:06 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome!

  2. spicedblog August 26, 2021 at 6:57 AM - Reply

    Haha – I can’t cook and talk at the same time either! I’d end up with a mess for dinner if I did that. Speaking of dinner, these wraps sound fantastic! I do love seasoned ground beef – it’s so versatile. And that chile vs. chili thing is mighty confusing. Same with biscuits and cookies!

    • chef mimi August 26, 2021 at 7:03 AM - Reply

      I don’t cook with ground meats enough – they’re so easy! And like you said… versatile. Mario Batali always impressed me with the way he could teach while cooking, in a much more restrained way than Ramsay, of course! In the US, it’s chile peppers, and chili is the dish. Easy. I remember reading Mark Miller’s chile pepper book to figure it all out!

  3. Healthy World Cuisine August 26, 2021 at 7:24 AM - Reply

    Hey, I like that device you are using to break up the beef. Great little dish for when you want something fast and healthy.

    • chef mimi August 26, 2021 at 7:24 AM - Reply

      Yes! A friend who cooks gave me that! It really works well.

  4. angiesrecipes August 26, 2021 at 8:16 AM - Reply

    We love ground meat, esp. my husband. This is a wonderfully delicious and healthy wrap recipe, Mimi.

    • chef mimi August 26, 2021 at 8:18 AM - Reply

      I ended up spicing it up more, but it was really good and fun to eat!

  5. popsiclesociety August 26, 2021 at 8:20 AM - Reply

    I love the fact that are served in lettuce leaves and that sweet and spicy dipping sauce is really fabulous! 😋

    • chef mimi August 26, 2021 at 1:06 PM - Reply

      It’s a great recipe. Next time I’ll double the sauce!

  6. August 26, 2021 at 10:58 AM - Reply

    I love lettuce wraps and use all kinds of different ground meat. Dipping sauce sounds delicious!

    • chef mimi August 26, 2021 at 1:05 PM - Reply

      It is a wonderful sauce. I wish I’d had more of the little chile peppers from my garden! My grocery store pretty much only sells jalapenos, Anaheims, and poblanos.

      • August 26, 2021 at 2:09 PM

        Peppers – all kinds were a favorite in a previous garden. There are so many different varieties one can grow – I had a lot of fun with them. I don’t know why stores don’t have more choices…

  7. Alex August 26, 2021 at 1:36 PM - Reply

    This sounds and looks really tasty, Mimi. Almost like the Asian summer rolls, but with hefty meat :-)

    • chef mimi August 31, 2021 at 8:14 AM - Reply

      Definitely. And very tasty!

  8. Gerlinde August 26, 2021 at 10:21 PM - Reply

    I really like this one Mimi. I am supposed to be eating less carbs , so this would be perfect,

    • chef mimi August 27, 2021 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Oh. Ugh. Me, too, but it doesn’t always work!!!

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 27, 2021 at 3:41 AM - Reply

    I have the recipe book from The Ultimate Cookery Course and it is well used. His recipe for pork belly is amazing, and the one we make over and over again. In fact, we are doing it on Sunday. I hope you enjoy the rest of his shows. I met him a few years ago which was quite something.

    • chef mimi August 27, 2021 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Oh how exciting! He truly seems like a nice family man in all reality, but boy is he busy!

  10. 2pots2cook August 27, 2021 at 5:24 AM - Reply

    Lovely, lovely gluten free one !!!! Perfect to enjoy while the heat is on !

    • chef mimi August 27, 2021 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      It’s very tasty. I’d make more of the sauce next time, though!

  11. Anonymous August 27, 2021 at 5:51 AM - Reply

    Thanks for the rip, Mimi. I have Prime so I’ll look it up. That dish looks scrumptious.

    • chef mimi August 27, 2021 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      The show was really good, but Gordon Ramsay is really entertaining to me!

  12. sippitysup August 27, 2021 at 5:01 PM - Reply

    I’ve piped in before on what I think the difference is between chile and chili is (hint: plurality). So I’ll just keep my mouth closed on the subject (all the better to chew these beef lettuce wraps). GREG

    • chef mimi August 27, 2021 at 5:24 PM - Reply

      I dunno Greg. That just went over my head!

  13. Hannah Kaminsky August 27, 2021 at 5:10 PM - Reply

    I love all lettuce wraps! They’re just so fresh and light yet wholly satisfying. I typically make mine with tempeh and/or mushrooms, but this made me realize that I do have a pound of Impossible meat in the freezer, and I bet it would be great with these seasonings, too.

    • chef mimi August 27, 2021 at 5:22 PM - Reply

      Double the sauce if you make these. Ramsay wants the meat dry, not greasy, which is great, but it needed more sauce.

  14. Debra August 28, 2021 at 8:59 PM - Reply

    The dipping sauce is so appealing! I’m glad to see your response that it should be doubled. I’m also interested in this show and will check it out. Funny thing is that I order lettuce wraps when we are out, but I never make them at home. I will definitely make these!

    • chef mimi August 28, 2021 at 9:20 PM - Reply

      Yes! And me, too. I’ve never made them before, but have ordered them Weird!

    • chef mimi August 29, 2021 at 7:19 AM - Reply

      Same here! Why wouldn’t we make this simple and fun dish at home?!

  15. Fran @ G'day Souffle' August 29, 2021 at 10:19 AM - Reply

    I’ve never made lettuce wraps before but I think the combination of the crunchy lettuce with the spicy meat would be divine! I suppose I could also use some diced jalapeno peppers instead of the little red peppers.

    • chef mimi August 30, 2021 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      If I don’t have any fresh chile peppers on hand, I just use Tabasco sauce to taste. Like in my fresh salsa. Chopping has become quite hard on my hands, so especially now I don’t mind good alternatives!

  16. David Scott Allen August 29, 2021 at 4:27 PM - Reply

    I love lettuce wraps and very much look forward to Ramsey’s version. Oddly, have made them with lamb, pork and chicken but not yet beef… what have I been waiting for?

    • chef mimi August 30, 2021 at 6:54 AM - Reply

      Huh. Interesting! A lamb version would be so good…

  17. August 30, 2021 at 8:07 AM - Reply

    I haven’t made lettuce wraps in ages Mimi! Will have to sort this out for dinner soon. Thanks for sharing. Ps. I can’t cook and talk at the same time either. Dinner would be a disaster otherwise!!

    • chef mimi August 31, 2021 at 8:13 AM - Reply

      Especially when I have to concentrate on cooking! Please don’t talk to me!!!

  18. Ron August 30, 2021 at 8:15 AM - Reply

    Hi there Mimi, boy your lettuce wraps remind me of our favorite appy we use to get at PF Changs. No PF Changs over this way so I’m sure glad you posted this. As for the little red chili, over this way a red chili that’s often used in cooking is called a bird’s eye chili. But, they’re on the hot side.

    • chef mimi August 31, 2021 at 8:10 AM - Reply

      I think bird’s eye are what I planted. But I also think Ramsay didn’t really use them for the heat in this case, mostly for color and presentation. Which is why I grow them! I hope all is well.

  19. Ann Coleman August 30, 2021 at 4:25 PM - Reply

    I love the idea of using lettuce for wraps! And I’m glad you pointed out the difference in chilis!

    • chef mimi August 30, 2021 at 4:29 PM - Reply

      In the US, chili and chile is completely different!

  20. thatskinnychickcanbake August 30, 2021 at 5:06 PM - Reply

    Mmmmm…..I love lettuce wraps, but have only made a chicken version. These look just as good or even better!!

    • chef mimi August 30, 2021 at 5:38 PM - Reply

      I think they’d be good with just about any meat!

  21. lea September 10, 2021 at 3:58 PM - Reply

    un super piatto gustoso e molto bello! Una ricetta che merita di essere provata a casa nostra! Grazie!

    • chef mimi September 10, 2021 at 4:22 PM - Reply

      Thank you!!!

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