These Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps we had for dinner last are a variation of Korean Galbi which is typically served on a lettuce and "ssahmjang".
Wikipedia on Galbi: Galbi is generally served in restaurants known as "galbi houses", and the meat is cooked right at customers' tables on grills set in the tables (usually by the customers themselves). It is typically served with lettuce, perilla, or other leafy vegetables used to wrap the meat, which is then dipped in ssamjang (쌈장), a sauce made of fermented bean paste and red pepper paste. It is often accompanied by side dishes known as banchan.
Dinner was super easy because I already had some bulgogi stashed away in the freezer, just waiting to be eaten on a lazy evening like last night and two heads of my CSA Papa Spud's Butter Lettuce just waiting to be used up. Big Sis was off at yet ANOTHER sleepover and when we asked Little Sis what special thing she wanted to do with Mommy and Daddy, she just said "How about eat dinner at home and then play some games after?" How could we say no to such a sweet yet simple request?
Knowing how much this little girl just LOVES her Korean food, I made some rice, defrosted some bulgogi, fried up some of her all-time favorite Mandoos (stay tuned for a recipe post on these delish Korean-Style dumplings) and served up some packaged roasted laver (seaweed). Served on the side were some peas and carrots, but that was pretty much it. A side of Korean-style Pickled Cucumbers aka Oie Muchim would have been the perfect complement with this mean, but, much to the hubby's dismay, I didn't get around to either making or buying any. Sorry sweetie!
To make these Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps, you an use just about any kind of leafy green like romaine, red leaf lettuce or even iceberg lettuce, but my fave is Butter Lettuce (aka Boston Bibb). They were just perfect (and quite pretty, too)! Place a dollop of rice on the lettuce, then a couple pieces of bulgogi topped with ssamjang, as described above. We didn't have any of that on had so we just use regular old gochujang (hot Korean red pepper paste) to top ours off. De-lish!
Had some bulgogi leftover even though Little Sis ate 2 full plate of rice and bulgogi, so maybe some bibimbap is in our near future. :)
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