Korean Lettuce Wraps (quick Bulgogi)
Looking for a super quick, healthy and easy dinner? Look no further because I am about to blow your mind with this amazing combination of flavours. The ingredients may seem exotic or even unknown to some, but trust me, a quick trip down the international foods aisle at your favourite grocery store will help stock your pantry with items that will help you make some knock-out dishes all summer long!
Some of the ingredients may freak you out: fish sauce?! It is a staple in a lot of Asian cooking and although it has a strong smell when you’re measuring it out, I promise you will not taste this in sauces or other cooking. Sambel-olek is another intense ingredient and packs recipes with so much flavour, but warning: it is spicy! So start with a tablespoon and gradually add more if you’re not sure.
Normally bulgogi is a dish made with marinated strips of thinly sliced beef, but I use extra lean ground beef in this express version of the dish, without losing any of the amazing flavour. I’ve also tried this with ground pork and veggie ground product and both turned out great!
This is such a good meal to garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro and mint, tangy lime slices and crunchy green onions. Served with your favourite light beer or even a gingery Moscow Mule, this meal is going to please everyone!
Ingredients: 1lb extra lean ground beef (you could also use ground poultry, pork or a ground version of your favourite tofu/vegetarian product) 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger 1 tbsp sunflower or neutral oil
Sauce ingredients: 1/3 cup brown sugar zest and juice of one lime 1/4 cup sodium reduced soy sauce 1-2 tbsp chilli garlic paste (Sambal-Olek) 1 tbsp fish sauce (not sure what the vegetarian go-around for this is – google help!) 1 tbsp sesame oil
Serve with: 2-3 green onions,thinly sliced Handful of cilantro, chopped
Handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce (the living kind with the dirt clump attached!)
More fresh lime wedges to serve
In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Brown the beef over medium high heat and drain fat if necessary; extra lean ground beef doesn’t render off that much fat though. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute – until fragrant.
While that’s happening, combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
Add about half of the green onions and cilantro to the beef, along with the sauce mixture. Stir to combine and drop the heat to low, simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce.
Serve the beef in the lettuce cups and garnish with fresh cilantro, mint and green onions. Top with sriracha for an extra kick!