Skinny Korean Beef Lettuce Cups

I think you’re going to absolutely love this recipe. The flavors are fantastic! It’s such a quick and easy dinner and perfect for a weeknight meal. It’s my skinny version of Korean beef but I call it Cheap Korean Beef since I’m using extra lean ground beef instead of steak. Each dinner size serving has 292 calories and 7 grams of fat. Two of them are very filling since they are filled with beef mixture and brown rice. Enjoy!
Skinny Korean Beef Lettuce Cups

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Makes 4 servings. Each dinner serving, 2 beef cups (each has ½ cup beef and 2 tablespoons rice).

Food Facts
Beef has traditionally been expensive in Korea, so beef dishes almost always use the ingredient in moderation, often mixed with (or wrapped in) vegetables.
The large, sweet leaves of Boston lettuce are buttery textured, soft, and tender. This lettuce is a popular choice for use as wraps for appetizers. Since it can be easily bruised, its package in protective plastic containers called clamshells.

Shopping Tips
Happily, most supermarkets sell extra lean ground beef. I used the 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s.
You’ll find plastic containers of Boston lettuce leaves in the produce section. You’ll use about 1 head washed and dried. You need a total of 8 leaves for this recipe.
To save time, I like to use ginger, in a jar. It can be found in the produce section of the supermarket. Once opened, it will keep in the refrigerator for a long time.
My favorite rice to use is brown Basmati rice. You can find it now in most supermarkets. I bought it at Trader Joe’s. They now sell quick-cooking Basmati brown rice too. Or, use your favorite brown rice.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints
SKINNY FACTS: for 2 lettuce cups. (Each filled with 1/2 cup beef & 2 T brown rice)
292 calories, 7g fat, 2.4g sat. fat, 60mg chol, 25g prot, 35g carbs, 2g fiber, 650mg sod, 15g sugar
FACTS: for SmartPoints
281 calories, 2.4g sat. fat, 14g sugar, 24g protein


Skinny Korean Beef Lettuce Cups

Skinny Korean Beef Lettuce Cups

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Asian
Servings 4
Calories 292 kcal


  • 1 pound 96% extra lean ground beef, see shopping tips
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, olive or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, from a jar or 1 teaspoon fresh, see shopping tips
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (for gluten-free use Tamari soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 scallions (green onions), sliced
  • 1 cup cooked brown or white rice (½ cup uncooked), see shopping tips
  • 1 large head Boston lettuce (butter lettuce), washed, dried and leaves separated, see shopping tips
  • Shredded carrots and diced scallions, for garnish (optional)


  • Cook brown rice according to package directions.
  • In the meantime: In a large, nonstick pan, brown ground beef, and garlic over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add sesame oil, brown sugar, chili powder, ginger, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Mix together well. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. Stir often.
  • To make each lettuce cup: Add ½ cup warmed Korean beef mixture to 1 lettuce leaf. Add 2 tablespoons of warmed brown rice. Sprinkle top with little shredded carrots and scallions, if desired. Repeat to make 8 Korean Beef Lettuce Cups total.
  • Serve with a fork and knife but you could pick them up and eat with your hands.


Serving: 2lettuce cupsCalories: 292kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 25gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 650mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gBlue Smart Points: 8Green Smart Points: 8Plus Points: 8
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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