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Recipe: Simple stir-fried beef fills lettuce wraps

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

Feel like celebrating the Lunar New Year at home with a minimum of fuss? This Chinese dinner is faster and less expensive than takeout. Stir-fried beef perked up with scallions and cool cucumbers takes only minutes in a wok or skillet.

The meat should be crisp on the outside and tender inside. The secret is to make sure your wok or skillet is very hot before adding the meat.

Serve the beef in lettuce cups.

As with most stir-fry dishes, it takes a few extra minutes to prepare the ingredients, but only 5 minutes to cook them.

CHINESE BEEF IN LETTUCE PUFFS

  • 3/4 pound strip steak
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium stir-fry sauce (such as Kikko­man)
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • >> Garnishes:
  • 2 scallions (to make 1 cup slivers)
  • 1/2 medium cucumber (to make about 1-1/2 cups slivers)
  • 1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce (to make 8 lettuce cups)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Remove visible fat from steak. Cut into 1/2-inch strips. Pour stir-fry sauce into small bowl and add meat. Marinate 15 minutes, turning several times to make sure all the meat is covered.

Meanwhile, prepare garnishes: Wash and remove root ends and damaged leaves from scallions. Cut into 2-inch pieces, then slice each piece lengthwise into slivers. Peel and cut cucumber into 2-inch pieces, then cut lengthwise into slivers. Arrange items with lettuce leaves on a platter or in separate bowls.

Spray wok with vegetable oil spray and heat until smoking. Add beef; stir-fry 4 minutes. Remove from wok and place in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place garnishes and hoisin sauce on table. Take a lettuce leaf and spoon a little sauce onto it, add a few scallion and cucumber slivers and some meat. Roll up and eat like a wrap. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serves 2.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 340 calories, 8 g total fat, 2.1 g saturated fat, 96 mg cholesterol, 42 g protein, 23.2 g carbohydrate, 3.6 g fiber, 870 mg sodium.

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