Spicy Asian-style lettuce bowls

Fresh and flavorful, make this san choy bow adaptation as hot as you'd like.

This simplified version of a traditional Chinese dish is ideal for those who like to combat busy nights by cooking ahead. Just like chili, the seasoning in this spicy concoction gets a little fuller the next day. If you're more of a poultry person, substitute ground turkey for the beef.

For more dinner ideas, see all of our post-workout recipes.

In a wok over medium-high heat, heat oil. Brown white part of scallion, 2 minutes; add garlic, chili, carrot and ginger, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, 5 minutes. Add ground beef and brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tamari, fish sauce, chili paste (if using) and half the cilantro leaves; continue to cook until meat is hot and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in juice and add tamari to taste. Serve beef mixture in lettuce leaves sprinkled with bean sprouts, and remaining cilantro leaves and scallion.

Photography by Julia Gartland


1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 scallion, white and green portions separated and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small Serrano chili, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 inch knob ginger, grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp chili paste (optional)
½ bunch cilantro, stemmed
Juice of ½ lime
1 head iceberg lettuce
½ lb bean sprouts, washed