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Ramadan Series Part II: Oriental Minced Beef/Chicken Lettuce Cups with Chilli Dipping Sauce

At a time when your hunger pangs are at their peak, you can eat just about anything that is placed in front of you. As the sun is setting and the call to prayer is echoing in the background, Muslims all over the world are getting ready to open their fast. Iftar tables around the world are adorned with food ornaments to feast your eyes and appetite on. It is a time when the whole family gets together to dine together, hence you have to keep in mind the tastes and preference of all. Healthy, wholesome and quick food is the need of the hour.

Variety is the name of the game. Different edible delicacies on different days will keep every family member looking forward to the next day and of course, help you experiment in the kitchen as well. However, during Ramadan, you do not want to spend endless hours in the kitchen, hence always best to attempt something easy and quick. Adding an oriental touch to your evening meal will be flavorsome for your palate and light on your stomach. Succulent minced beef cooked in oyster sauce placed in a crisp lettuce cup, dipped in chilli sauce is sure to take away all the exhaustion of the day.

Minced Meat Lettuce Cup

Ingredients for the Lettuce Cups:

  • 1-2 whole iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4 kg minced beef or chicken
  • 6 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 garlic, crushed
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Crushed peanuts (optional)

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 red chillis, chopped
  • Handful coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, crushed


  • Slice the iceberg lettuce through the middle and separate the lettuce one by one, making sure that each is in the shape of a cup
  • Place the lettuce in a bowl of water and ice for 5-10 minutes. This helps them to curl up further and maintain their crispness.
  • Pat dry and refrigerate till ready to use
  • Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok and stir in garlic till it turns brown
  • Add the minced meat and stir vigorously for 5 minutes
  • Mix 4 tbsp of oyster sauce with 1 tbsp of water and add to the meat. Stir thoroughly till meat turns into a darker shade of brown
  • Add half of the bean sprouts, spring onions and peanuts and give it one final stir
  • Spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups and sprinkle the remaining bean sprouts, spring onions and peanuts
  • Mix 2 tbsp of oyster sauce with 1/2 tbsp of water and drizzle over the lettuce cups
  • For the sauce: Mix the soy sauce and fish sauce in a bowl
  • Add the sugar and garlic and mix till completely dissolved
  • Toss in the red chillis and chopped coriander and let it stand for 10 minutes for all the flavors to infuse

Oriental Lettuce Cups

This simple, yet delectable fare is bursting with taste and color, satiating your appetite as well as your desire for presentation. The versatility of this recipe makes it a must for all food lovers to bookmark it. To enhance its presentation for larger gourmet affairs, you can use wonton baskets instead of lettuce. Hence you can create a completely different look using the same recipe;Oriental Wonton Baskets with minced beef. To make the wonton baskets, you can refer to my earlier blog, “Smoked Salmon Wonton Baskets”. Seems like a good find, one recipe-multiple uses

Oriental Wonton Baskets with Minced Beef


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