Korean BBQ Pork Lettuce Wraps

If you have some friends (or you yourself) who are unfamiliar with Korean food, this is a fun (if slightly messy to eat) way to get them into it! It also happens to be delicious!

IMG_6360This recipe does make a HUGE amount of coleslaw, you could easily get away with halving it. I worked leftovers into fried rice for several days after the pork was gone.

Ingredients:

Pork:

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 medium pear, quartered and cored (conveniently, my supermarket had Asian pears, so I used one of those)
  • 1 small onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons gochuchang (red chili paste, optional and spicy)

Coleslaw:

  • 1 small head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  • butter lettuce or other lettuce of choice
  • 4 cups steamed rice
  • kimchi

For both making the marinade for the pork and for dealing with all those coleslaw veggies, you’re going to be really happy if you have a food processor. The slicing/shredding plates make what would take me all day a matter of a few minutes!

To prepare the pork: Slice the pork into 1/8″ thick slices (easier if the pork is firm from being slightly frozen), then cut those slices into roughly 2″ x 2″ pieces. Place in a large ziploc bag.

IMG_6349Combine the pear, onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender and puree until the consistency of apple sauce.

IMG_6350Transfer to a medium bowl, then add the green onions, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, and gochuchang and stir well.

IMG_6351Pour the mixture into the bag with the pork, press out the air, and seal. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.

If you don't have someone to hold open the bag for you while you pour, but you do have a vase under your kitchen sink (somehow every house does, right?) you're in luck!

If you don’t have someone to hold open the bag for you while you pour, but you do have a vase under your kitchen sink (somehow every house does, right?) you’re in luck!

IMG_6353While the pork marinates, prepare the coleslaw: Combine the cabbage, red cabbage, onion, carrot, and garlic in a large bowl.

Thanks again, food processor!

Thanks again, food processor!

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and stir well to evenly coat. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours to let the flavors come together.

IMG_6358 IMG_6359When ready to cook, you can either place the meat on skewers and grill over a high flame for about 4 minutes per side, or pay fry over high heat with a bit of vegetable oil until cooked through, 5-8 minutes. I used the stove, and it was quite a bit of pork so I put the already-cooked pieces on a plate in the oven, which was turned as low as it goes, to keep warm while I cooked the rest.

To serve, wrap a bit of pork, rice, coleslaw, and kimchi in a piece of lettuce. I always make a mess doing this, because I put way too much in, but it’s fun anyway. Unfortunately at the time my fridge was acting more like a freezer so after the first 2 or 3 leaves of lettuce the rest was a block of ice, but you can certainly also just throw the pork, rice, coleslaw, and kimchi on your plate and eat it with a fork/chopsticks. (Good news, we now have a new, properly-functional fridge!)

IMG_6361 IMG_6362With the full amount of gochuchang, I think all our noses were running a bit from the heat, but that did not stop anyone from going back for thirds…

Korean BBQ Pork Lettuce Wraps

From Use Real Butter.

Pork:

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 medium pear, quartered and cored
  • 1 small onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons gochuchang (red chili paste, optional and spicy)

Coleslaw:

  • 1 small head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  • butter lettuce or other lettuce of choice
  • 4 cups steamed rice
  • kimchi

To prepare the pork: Slice the pork into 1/8″ thick slices (easier if the pork is firm from being slightly frozen), then cut those slices into roughly 2″ x 2″ pieces. Place in a large ziploc bag.

Combine the pear, onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender and puree until the consistency of apple sauce. Transfer to a medium bowl, then add the green onions, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, and gochuchang and stir well. Pour the mixture into the bag with the pork, press out the air, and seal. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.

While the pork marinates, prepare the coleslaw: Combine the cabbage, red cabbage, onion, carrot, and garlic in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and stir well to evenly coat. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours to let the flavors come together.

When ready to cook, you can either place the meat on skewers and grill over a high flame for about 4 minutes per side, or pay fry over high heat with a bit of vegetable oil until cooked through, 5-8 minutes. To ensure even cooking, don’t overcrowd your skewers or pan.

To serve, wrap a bit of pork, rice, coleslaw, and kimchi in a piece of lettuce.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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2 Responses to Korean BBQ Pork Lettuce Wraps

  1. Mary Kate says:

    That sounds really good.

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