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When Hanger Strikes

  • Writer's pictureMari

Vietnamese Inspired Lettuce Wrap Rice Bowls

Lunar New Year is around the corner these bowls are a perfect lunch to celebrate the day with friends and family. This beautiful Vietnamese inspired lettuce wrap bowl is full of simple, fresh flavours that you’ll craving days in a row. It basically tastes like a fresh Vietnamese spring roll in a bowl. Great for a meal prep meal, this recipe will make 4-6 servings so you can eat it over and over again (trust you’ll want to).


Vietnamese Inspired Lettuce Wrap Rice Bowls

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25minutes Yield: 4-6 bowls


For the Rice

  • 2 cups sticky/calrose rice, uncooked

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 tsp salt

For the Ground Beef

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon rice or white vinegar

  • 1 tbs fish sauce

  • 2 tbs brown or coconut sugar

  • 1 tbs honey

  • 1 tbs Asian style hot sauce (like sriracha or garlic chili sauce)

For the Chili Garlic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 Thai green chili, sliced (sub 1 tsp of jalapeño pepper, or as much as you can handle)

  • A dash (1/8 tsp) of fish sauce

  • 1 tbs cane or white sugar

To Assemble

  • 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, shredded

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced or peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler

  • 1-2 carrots, thinly sliced or peeled into thin slices with a vegetable peeler

  • Green onion, sliced

  • Fresh mint, cilantro, and basil, minced

  • Crushed peanuts

  • Lime wedges


  1. Prepare the rice. To a rice cooker bowl, add the uncooked sticky rice. Wash under cold water 3-4 times, until the water runs almost clear. Add the 3 cups of water and salt and turn the rice cooker on. When the cooker turns off, unplug the rice cooker and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then use a fork to fluff it. Cover and let sit until ready to use.

  2. Make the garlic chili dressing. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small pot, and turn stove on to medium heat. Once the dressing comes to a simmer, swirl the pan to melt the sugar. When the sugar is just melted, remove from heat, about 7 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

  3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat to make the beef. Add the oil and ground beef, and use your spatula or spoon to break apart the meat. Add the remaining ingredients for the beef, stirring well to combine everything, then turn the heat up to medium high. Mixing and breaking up the meat often, continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated and the beef starts to caramelize, about 25 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, turn the heat back down to medium to avoid burning. Taste for seasoning and remove from heat until ready to use.

  4. To prepare your bowls, divide the rice and beef amongst 4-6 bowls. Let everyone dress their bowls the way they like it with the toppings. Personally, I like it fully loaded with everything. Once it’s garnished with all the fresh herbs, veggies, and peanuts, spoon some of the garlic chili dressing on top.


  • You can use ground chicken or turkey for this recipe in place of the ground beef.

  • You can use any lettuce that you prefer instead of romaine (butter lettuce would also be delicious)


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