How to make lettuce cups

Lettuce cups are so easy to make and they make a novel way to serve different meals or appetisers. Learn three easy ways to make crisp lettuce cups, plus get lots of recipes to serve in them! 

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Lettuce cup tips and recipes

Serving food in lettuce cups isn't just fun, it also adds crunch to your recipe, saves on washing up and reduces waste. The wins keep coming! Learn how to make crisp lettuce cups, the best type of lettuce to use and get lots of fun recipes that you can serve in them, including San Choy Bow and meatballs.

What's the best lettuce for lettuce cups?

The first step is buying the right lettuce, it should have nice cup shaped leaves and a firm, crisp texture. Try these different types of leaves:

  1. Iceberg lettuce - the most commonly used, has large, round and crisp leaves with mild flavour.
     
  2. Cos lettuce - similar in flavour and texture to iceberg, it has elongated leaves. Baby cos leaves are more cup shaped and easier to use.
     
  3. Little gem - a mini variety of cos lettuce.
     
  4. Witlof - witlof has elongated cup shaped leaves. Note that it has slightly bitter and nutty flavour that may not work with all recipes.
     
  5. Radicchio - a variety of witlof with attractive red coloured leaves.

Avoid lettuce types with soft leaves, such as butter lettuce or oak lettuce. These varieties can be good to use as leaf wraps, but won't hold their shape to be used as cups.

How to make lettuce cups

There are three techniques for making lettuce cups.

The first technique is to use a small, sharp knife to cut out the core of the lettuce. Run the lettuce under the tap, and the leaves will peel away.

The second technique is to hold the lettuce and firmly hit the base of it against a hard surface. This will break the core away and loosen the leaves. This method works best for iceberg lettuce.

The third technique is to simply peel the leaves away from the core and break them off. This works best for cos, little gem and witlof varieties.

Once you've removed the leaves, rinse them thoroughly, shake off excess water and pat dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towels. If you find that the leaves are a bit soft and floppy, you can revive them by placing in a bowl of ice water for 20 minutes. To keep them crisp, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. 

Lettuce cup recipes

Now you know how to make crisp lettuce cups, try out these recipes below for dinner, entrees or appetisers!

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