Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Korean Beef (Bulgogi):

  • 1 lb thinly sliced beef (sirloin, ribeye, or flank steak work great)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated pear or apple (optional, for tenderizing)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a kick)

For Serving:

  • 1 head butter lettuce, Boston bibb, or romaine (leaves washed and dried)
  • 1 cup cooked white or brown rice

Toppings:

  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Julienned carrots
  • Kimchi (optional)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Gochujang sauce or sriracha (optional)

Instructions:

  • Make the marinade: In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, grated pear/apple (if using), garlic, ginger, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Whisk until well combined.
  • Marinate the beef: Add the thinly sliced beef to the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight for maximum flavor.
  • Cook the rice: Prepare your rice according to package directions.
  • Prep toppings: While the beef marinates and rice cooks, slice your vegetables (green onions, cucumber, carrots), and prepare any additional toppings you like.
  • Cook the beef: Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the marinated beef in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.
  • Assemble the lettuce wraps: Place a few spoonfuls of rice into each lettuce leaf. Top with the cooked Korean beef, desired toppings, and a drizzle of gochujang sauce or sriracha if you’d like some heat. Serve immediately.

Tips & Variations:

  • Pre-slicing: Many butchers will thinly slice your beef if you ask – it saves time!
  • Spice level: Adjust the red pepper flakes according to your desired heat level.
  • Vegetarian twist: Substitute the beef for crumbled firm tofu or mushrooms marinated in the same sauce.
  • Make-ahead: You can prepare the beef, rice, and toppings in advance, making this a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Enjoy your delicious and flavorful Korean beef lettuce wraps!

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