Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
Wrap up an easy, flavorful and filling lunch with Korean spiced beef in lettuce leaves. This version of the classic Korean dish, bulgogi, starts with lean beef marinated in the five harmonized flavors of Korean cooking: salty, sweet, sour, hot and bitter. Sirloin, one of 29 lean cuts of beef, keeps this dish nutrient-rich and low in fat. Flank, another lean cut, can be used as well. Kimchi is the traditional spicy Korean condiment of fermented cabbage. You’ll find kimchi, as well as toasted sesame seeds and mirin, in the Asian section of most supermarkets.
Makes 8 wraps (2 per serving)
1 to 1 1/4 pounds beef sirloin steak
2 teaspoons canola oil
8 large Bibb or red lettuce leaves
2 cups cooked white rice
1 cup kimchi
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup grated white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/3 cup grated Asian pear
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
5 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Place beef sirloin in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. (This will make it easier to slice thin.)
2. While beef is in the freezer, combine all marinade ingredients in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or a large shallow bowl. Set aside.
3. Cut beef into very thin slices and add to marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Heat canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat until hot. Add beef (along with the marinade that clings to the beef pieces) and cook until lightly browned -- about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
5. Remove beef from heat and divide between lettuce leaves.
6. Top each beef lettuce wrap with 3 tablespoons rice, 2 tablespoons kimchi and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Roll and serve immediately.
Nutrition information (per serving)
38 g protein
36 g carbohydrate
9.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
61 mg cholesterol
670 mg sodium
650 mg potassium
115 mg calcium
5.2 mg iron
2975 IU vitamin A
25 mg vitamin C
3 g fiber
Kim Galeaz is a registered dietitian and owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications based in Indianapolis. As a culinary-nutrition consultant, writer and spokeswoman for the food, beverage and agriculture industry, Galeaz is passionate about blending great taste with good health in all of her culinary creations.