Recipe: Korean Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Dipping Sauce

by Celeste Heiter, Jun 27, 2009 | Destinations: Korea, N / Korea, S
Korean Lettuce Wraps

Korean Lettuce Wraps

Korean Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is a ‘portmanteau' of two Korean dishes: Bulgogi Grill, and an appetizer called Kujolp'an. Bulgogi Grill is simply a variety of meats in a variety of marinades with a variety of dipping sauces, grilled tableside and consumed as each batch comes off the grill. The Kujolp'an appetizer is a ‘Nine Treasure' assortment of fillings to assemble into delicate pancake wraps. Instead of making a labor-intensive batch of homemade pancakes and all the elaborate fillings to go with them, prepare the Bulgogi Grill and serve it in the style of Kujolp'an with lettuce wraps, fresh filling ingredients, and a spicy dipping sauce instead. A wonderful choice for a hot summer evening.

Lettuce Wrap Ingredients:

1 pound beef tenderloin, sliced into thin strips
1 pound firm white fish filets (catfish, cod, snapper, etc.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cucumbers, seeded and cut into matchsticks
2 heads of red leaf lettuce
1 jar of kimchi
4 limes, cut into wedges

Meat Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine
1 knob ginger root, finely shredded
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Combine marinade ingredients in a measuring cup and pour over beef strips in a shallow dish. Mix thoroughly and allow to marinate for 1 hour (or overnight).

Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 knob of ginger root, finely shredded
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (more or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake to blend and allow to stand for one hour to marry flavors.

To Prepare and Serve Lettuce Wraps:

Brush fish filets with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Using an outdoor barbeque, an electric grill, or a stovetop grill pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, grill fish filets for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until done all the way through. Set aside and allow to cool. Remove beef strips from marinade and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until they reach desired doneness.

Serve the grilled meat and fish with a platter of mixed lettuce leaves, carrot and cucumber matchsticks, lime wedges, kimchi, and dipping sauce. To eat, place meat or fish in a lettuce leaf, add carrots, cucumber, and kimchi. Drizzle with a squeeze of lime, roll lettuce around fillings and dip in the dipping sauce.