Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps Appetizer: Delicious Bulgogi beef wrapped up in lettuce with quick pickled onions and radishes, and a dollop of miso mayonnaise. I love making this for company. It’s beautiful and totally scrumptious!
Looking for an over the top appetizer? An explosion of flavor? This beef lettuce wraps recipe is an appetizer version of my Korean BBQ Burger recipe. Korean Bulgogi beef is so delectable – I want to keep finding ways to create new recipes around it! The beef is sliced extra thin and marinated with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper. After a quick sauté, it’s ready to be enveloped in lettuce. The homemade pickled radishes and onions are extremely easy to make and add a bright vinegary crunch factor – a perfect counterpoint to the tender, sweet-sesame-soy flavored beef. The bright pink pickles with the green lettuces makes a festive presentation.
If you’re not looking for an appetizer any time soon but you want to make this anyway, you can easily adapt it as a main dish. Instead of cutting the lettuce into small pieces, keep the leaves whole. Set out a platter of leaves, a platter of beef, and put the rest of the components in bowls. Let everyone dig in and make their own wraps.
These little beef lettuce wraps are so pretty I couldn’t stop photographing them.
If you try this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Makes 30-35 appetizer sized portions. Feeds 10-12 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course.
Here’s the recipe for Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think.
- Marinade for the Beef
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic (2 medium cloves)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 14-16 ounces beef tenderloin (or substitute ribeye, sirloin or flank), sliced very thinly (1/8 inch or so)
- For the Lettuce:
- 2 heads of green leaf lettuce (or substitute Boston or red leaf lettuce)
- Quick Pickled Onions and Radishes
- 1 bunch radishes, washed and thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1½ cups distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Miso Mayonnaise
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I recommend Hellman's)
- 2 tablespoons miso paste (brown rice miso from Whole Foods is my favorite)
- ¼ teaspoon sriracha (hot sauce)
- Optional Garnish:
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced very thinly crosswise.
- To Cook the Beef:
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- Make Pickled Onions and Radishes: Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook just until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat. Put onions and radishes into a medium sized bowl. Pour Vinegar mixture over and stir. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 45 minutes and up to 3 days.
- Marinate the Beef In a shallow bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients. Add the beef and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temp or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
- Make the Miso Mayonnaise: Whisk mayonnaise, miso and sriracha. Store in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Prepare the Lettuce Leaves Wash and dry lettuce. Trim The thick pointy end off each leaf and cut or tear the leaf into two or three pieces that are 3-4 inches wide and tall. The lettuce can be prepared a day ahead. In fact it will be extra crisp if you do this: Wash and spin or shake leaves to remove excess water. Lay the damp leaves out, in a single layer, on a long stretch of paper towels. Cover with another paper towel of equal length. Roll up gently from one end. Tuck the roll into a large plastic bag. Press out the air, seal, and store in the fridge. Unpack leaves and trim to size before serving.
- Sauté the Beef Heat oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet or wok over high heat. Sauté half the beef, stir-frying, for 2-4 minutes, or until the beef is just cooked through. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining beef.
- Assemble the Wraps: Arrange leaves on platters. Add a piece of beef to each leaf. Drape some pickes on top. Add a dollop of miso mayonnaise. Sprinkle with scallions.