I realize it is Friday and we are supposed to be having pizza, but I simply could not commit to it. I don't know why, really. I suppose it is fatigue of some sort...but we did have a fantastic dinner anyway of Thai beef lettuce wraps, which I declared, was the best meal I had made in...like ever! I had seen a picture of something like these in a magazine article I read earlier this month (which one I could not tell you now). But they seemed easy enough to make even though I could not find the recipe.
Sweet and spicy, light yet satisfying, and completely easy to throw together, it was a perfect meal to end a very, very long week. Tender strips of sirloin were marinated in a soy, rice vinegar marinade, then quickly sauteed. Thin rice noodles were simply soaked in boiling water then tossed with chopped cilantro and green onions. Wrapped in lettuce and topped with sliced mango (I know so not local, but everything else was) and that amazing sweet and spicy Thai chili garlic sauce, this is a recipe I know I will make over and over again, and you should too. It would also taste great with chicken, or even tofu.
Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps
Marinate 1 pound of sirloin or chicken breast (organic preferable, thinly sliced) in 1/4 C soy sauce, 1/4 C rice wine vinegar, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1 t dark sesame oil, 1 T grated ginger (I no longer bother to peel, just use a microplane grater) and 1 t sambal oelek (or chili garlic sauce) for 30 minutes. Heat 1 T vegetable oil in a large skillet, and saute beef, stirring frequently until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
While meat is marinating, make the sweet Thai chili garlic sauce.
Heat a kettle of water to boil. Pour boiling water over one package of thin, dry rice noodles to cover (they look like angel hair pasta, but made from rice...check your Asian section of the supermarket). Let soak for 10 minutes or until tender, then drain in a colander. Toss with 1/4 C chopped cilantro and 4 scallions, cut diagonally.
Wash several leaves of lettuce (romaine or butter lettuce is good). Slice mango into long slivers.
Layer lettuce leaves with beef, noodles, and mango and top with sweet chili sauce.