Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps with Tangy Cucumbers

Those of you following us on social media saw that we’ve been in Vermont stuffing our faces with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream all week.  We’ll share more about that later, but boy did I need a detox after returning home.  Strangely enough, my head desperately wanted more ice cream, but my scale said, “Wait!  Stop!  Try a vegetable first!” I’m trying, guys.  I’m really trying.  

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps from Our Best Bites

We have a couple of great lettuce wraps on the blog.  These Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps are one of my all-time favorites, and this other version (also turkey) was a very early recipe, and a reader favorite.  Kate has this post with a Spring Roll recipe, which could easily be used for lettuce wraps as well, along with 3 awesome sauces for dipping.  Lastly, this Peach Basil Spring Roll recipe, is also delicious as lettuce wraps.   One thing I noticed we didn’t have?  Beef.  This recipe can easily be made in a slow cooker, OR a pressure cooker, and I’ve included directions for both!  I was planning on slow-cooking this, but I completely forgot to put the meat in on time, and realizing it wouldn’t be done until well after dinner time, I busted out my pressure cooker and it saved the day.  It works beautifully in both!  These have tender, juicy, Asian-inspired shredded beef topped with cool and tangy cucumbers and carrots.  Makes a great meal paired with a side of rice or would be a fun appetizer as well. 

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Start by searing your meat.  If you’re using a slowcooker, do this part in a pan first.  If you’re using a pressure cooker, you’ll probably need to cut your roast into chunks to fit and maybe do it in a couple batches.  We’re using a chuck roast, and I do suggest sticking with that cut.  I really works the best in dishes like this.  

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Next slice an onion into a few thick slices and lay them in the bottom of your pot.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Lay the meat on top and pour over a mixture of beef broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, tomato paste, white miso, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

While that’s cooking away, you can chop up your toppings.  I love the combo of warm, tender meat with the contrast of cold crunchy lettuce and tangy crispy veggies.  

Pickled Carrots

I don’t know what it is about the world “pickled” that can sometimes be off-putting.  I think I always envision a scary looking jar of who-knows-what deep in the recess of grandma’s basement.  But really, pickling is an awesome way to infuse a sweet tang into different vegetables.  If you’re a fan of our Sweet and Spicy Cucumbers, this is a really quick version of those.  (Those would be fabulous here as well).

Pickled Cucumbers

You basically bring rice wine, water, and sugar to a boil and then submerge cucumbers and carrots.  

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

When your beef is done, give it a quick shred.  I would also recommend separating your pan juices if you happen to have one of these nifty fat separators.  They’re inexpensive and SO handy.  It quickly separates the fat and oils from the juices and then pours off only the juices.  You can find them here.  

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

I was tempted to skip this next part, because it seemed like just another tedious step, but that would have been a major mistake.  If you’ve ever made homemade Carnitas, the best part is that the shredded slow-cooked pork is then popped in a hot pan and seared in oil, making the meat browned and crispy on the edges.  This beef is tossed in a pan with sesame oil and it imparts so much amazing flavor and texture.  Don’t skip this step!

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Pour a generous amount of the pan juices back over the meat, sprinkle with salt, and you’re ready to go.  Serve with those tangy cucumbers and carrots and a little sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

It’s light and refreshing, but hearty at the same time.  This would be great with a side of Coconut Rice, Brazilian Style Rice, or even our Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple.
Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps from Our Best Bites 


Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps


  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 2-pound boneless chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 11 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white miso (soy bean paste)
  • 3/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced english cucumber
  • 3/4 julianned carrot
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • bibb lettuce leaves (about 16)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. (Slow Cooker Instructions)
  2. 1. Coat bottom and sides of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer onion slices in bottom of slow cooker; top with garlic.
  3. 2. Heat canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chuck roast to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place beef on top of onions and garlic; pour any drippings from pan over top.
  4. 3. Combine stock, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture over beef and onions in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  5. 4. Place cucumber and carrot in 2 shallow bowls 15 minutes before meat is done. Combine remaining 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; divide vinegar mixture evenly between cucumbers and carrots. Let stand until ready to serve; drain well.
  6. 5. Transfer beef from slow cooker to a large platter; shred with 2 forks. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; add shredded beef to pan, pressing into an even layer. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, without stirring. Turn off heat. Sprinkle evenly with salt and 1/4 cup cooking liquid from slow cooker; toss to coat. Discard remaining cooking liquid, onions, and garlic. Divide beef and pickles among lettuce leaves; sprinkle with sesame seeds.


2 reviews

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  1. Can’t wait to try this! Love all the recipes you two post!
    Question for you awesome ladies – I don’t seem to have the print option on any of the new recipes that have been posted recently. Why the change? I love the print function!

      1. Hi, Sara! Thank you for you response! So I’m using chrome on an iPhone and its really not there. I had my husband check his too. I also checked safari and it wasn’t there either (however, see Wendy’s comment below that in safari i need to open the desktop site. I’ve tried the same thing with chrome and it works. I just have to request the desktop site). Whats weird is that the print function is available for older recipes, but the new ones its not there. Anyway, the print button is available on the iPad as well as my Mac. Its just the iPhone that doesn’t have it (without switching to the desktop version). I mainly print the recipes from my phone, so this is why I’m all wadded up about not finding it! 😉 Now that I know a way around it, I’m totally good!
        Oh yeah, if its of any interest it doesn’t snow the cute thumbnail of you or Kate’s picture on the main page where it shows the recipes you two have submitted. Or at the top of the recipe when i click on it, or at the bottom of the recipe. This is only on the mobile version, though. All of it is on the desktop. Its not a huge deal, Just an FYI. I hope I don’t seem super obnoxious right now. It’s really not my intention. 🙂

    1. Hey Liz. I had trouble finding that button trying to print the recipe for Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies from my iphone a couple of days ago. I clicked the button at the bottom of the Safari screen, the one with the little arrow, and then clicked on Request Desktop Site, and there it was, the almighty print button!! 🙂 Hope that helps!

  2. Hey ladies, I’m pre-making this for lunches. Is it ok to make the pickles today if I’m not eating them until tomorrow? How long would they last in the fridge?

    1. Yes, totally! The longer they stay in the liquid, the more “pickled” they become. I like them the longer they sit, so I just keep them submerged in the fridge for days, but if you want them less pickled, just remove them from the liquid and store in fridge until ready to use.

  3. This looks & sounds delicious. I kind of have issues with how fatty chuck roasts can be, but if you say it’s the best cut for this recipe I’ll give it a try.

  4. Made this tonight and it was delicious. With the pickled cucumbers and carrots how much granulated sugar do you add to the vinegar and water mixture? Your “sweet & spicy” cucumber recipe called for 3 Tb so that’s what I did but wondering if that’s also the same with this recipe?
    PS Dinner tonight was a hit with all 3 kids. Thank you.

  5. I’m surprised no one has asked yet but where do you get white miso? Can I get it from Trader Joe’s?

  6. Is there anything I can substitute for the miso paste? I haven’t been able to find it at any of my small town local stores. I looked online and its about $9, which seems like a lot for 1 T of stuff that I’ve never heard of before and so wouldn’t likely find many other uses for.

  7. This was the best dinner I’ve made in a long time!! I was shocked at how much my kids liked it. It took me an hour to find miso paste at my grocery store- it is refrigerated which once I figured that out was much easier! I found it with other soy products by the refrigerated salad dressings, hopefully that helps someone else. I served this with coconut rice and my kids loved it! They even ate the pickled veggies which totally surprised me.

  8. I hope I’m not just overlooking this, but how long did you cook this in the pressure cooker? Thanks so much! (Wanted to try Kate’s miso ginger salad dressing and thought this would be a great use of the extra miso!)

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