Lettuce Cups

Lettuce: The perfect way to eat your food when you run out of utensils.

by Braden Reardon
16 June 2017, 1:00pm

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6-8
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes


for the ponzu base:
1 (2-inch) piece kombu
1 cup|250 ml low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup|125 ml fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup|60 ml fresh lime juice
1/4 cup|60 ml fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1/2 ounce|10 grams bonito flakes
zest of 2 lemons
zest of 2 limes
zest of 2 oranges

for the ponzu vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon green yuzu kosho

for the steak:
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces hanger steak
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Thai chili, halved lengthwise
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped

for the vegetables:
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, halved, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 rib celery, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

for serving:
2 heads bibb lettuce, washed, leaves separated
1 piece paté, preferably chicken and truffle
1 cup leftover chicken meat, shredded
fresh coriander
fresh basil
sea salt
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 lime


1. Make the ponzu base: Soak the kombu in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse, and soak for an additional 15 minutes in more water. Combine the kombu with the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Steep for 4 days, refrigerated, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

2. Make the vinaigrette: Combine the ponzu base with the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Steep for at least 5 minutes before straining. Vinaigrette will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

3. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the steak, garlic, thyme, chilies, and ginger and cook, flipping once, until cooked to desired temperature. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

4. To prepare the vegetables, combine the radishes, carrot, cucumber, and celery in a medium bowl. Toss with the salt and sugar and allow to sit for 5 minutes (the vegetables will leach water). Add in the rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of water and toss to combine.

5. For chicken lettuce cups, spoon some paté in some lettuce, along with a few pieces of chicken, some vegetables, basil, coriander, and salt. For steak lettuce cups, place some steak, vegetables, jalapeno, basil, cilantro, and salt in some lettuce leaves. Zest some lime over the top to serve and drizzle with some ponzu vinaigrette.