Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps – Sweet and mildly spiced beef, cooked quickly and enjoyed in a sturdy leaf of lettuce, creating smiles all around the table.
This is my third, yes 3rd! post of lettuce wraps. I love them. You can make them in any flavor.
I am mostly ignorant of Korean cuisine. I tend to order the same 4 or 5 dishes when I eat out at the local joint and the marinade for making bbq beef is the limit of my knowledge. That, of course, won’t stop me from learning more.
My dish is LOOSELY based on bulgogi, a classic dish of grilled, sliced beef that has been marinated in sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and sugar. Mine has all these ingredients and then taking the creative license like I frequently do, I added a few other items as well. Oh man, did I ever pick the correct items to be creative with.
- 1 head lettuce (Bibb, Boston, and butter are great choices)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce/tamari
- 1 tbsp sesame oil; divided in half
- 3 cloves garlic; minced/grated
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional and to taste)
- 1 bunch green onions; divided between white and green parts
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Whisk in a bowl the brown sugar, soy sauce/tamari, ½ tbsp sesame oil, garlic, finer, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes until blended; set aside.
- In a wok or large skillet, brown the ground beef in ½ tbsp sesame oil.
- Add the white part of the green onions to the beef and continue cooking until the beef is done.
- Drain any rendered fat.
- Pour the sauce over the meat and allow it to reduce down; about 3-5 minutes.
- Serve in lettuce leaves or over rice.
- Sprinkle remaining green onions over each portion and garnish with sesame seeds if using.
While incredibly humble looking, the saucy beef provides such intense flavor you will not be disappointed. I enjoyed them in the lettuce leaves, but my daughter opted for rice. My guests were divided between using lettuce and rice and one even just added the rice to the lettuce, covering all her bases!
I’ve shared a Chinese chicken lettuce wrap, a taco lettuce wrap, and now this Korean beef. What else do you like in a lettuce wrap? What else should I make in a lettuce wrap? Get creative on me.