Romance Cooks

Asian Beef Lettuce Cups – Kate Willoughby


I admit it. I found this recipe when I had a pound of ground beef and was too lazy to go to the market for hamburger buns. When it turned out to be delicious, I was doubly happy, because Becca Chen, the heroine of my book, Across the Line, has a café that specializes in soups and a daily offering of lettuce cups. I hope you like this one as much as I do.

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Asian Beef Lettuce Cups

16ish Boston Bibb, butter, or iceberg lettuce leaves

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon oil

1 large onion, chopped

¼ cup hoisin sauce (found in Asian section of the market)

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger (or you can use a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger)

a couple dashes of Sriracha or other hot sauce

1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Rinse and pat dry the lettuce leaves.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and cooking oil in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and discard grease; transfer beef to a bowl. Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until slightly tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and hot sauce into onions. Add water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; cook and stir until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Spoon some of the filling into the lettuce cups and enjoy! This would probably make a wonderful salad, too. I found myself wanting a higher lettuce to meat ratio. This would also be yummy with white rice and some steamed veggies.



Calder Griffin needs to get back in shape. Sidelined last season by a knee injury, he’s determined to return to the San Diego Barracudas and play the best hockey of his career. This might even be the year he gets out of his talented older brother’s shadow.

For months, Becca Chen has poured her energy into Cups, the restaurant she owns, desperate to prove to her parents that she can succeed in the career of her choice, not theirs. But after she spends a five-hour plane ride flirting with charming, magic-on-the-ice Calder, she tells herself she needs a fling.

Becca and Calder can’t keep their hands off each other, but they know the relationship can’t last. They live on opposite coasts, and they’re both too devoted to their careers. All they have to do is prevent their feelings from crossing the line from lust to love…

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