Spicy Pork Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps are a go-to in my home…
This spicy pork bulgogi is spicy (obviously), but also balanced by the deep, rich, molasses-y sweetness of brown sugar. It plays nicely with the gochujang hot chili paste which has a complex slightly sweet, but smokey flavor.
The texture of the meat is chewy while the rice is soft and fluffy. To chill the tongue, this spicy pork is topped with cool, crunchy cucumber. Furthermore, all of this flavor is wrapped up in cold, crisp lettuce leaves for extra explosive texture. These spicy pork lettuce wraps will be a go-to in your home, too.
You’ll love this recipe because it’s…
Easy to make
Crunchy & Chewy
I buy my pork shoulder, pre-sliced, at an Asian grocery store, but you can substitute shoulder for loin or butt. If you do not have an Asian market close by, you can ask your butcher to slice the meat, an eighth of an inch thick (or as thin as they can).
If you are slicing the meat yourself, put it in the freezer for about an hour. The meat will become firm, so it will be easier for you to slice.
Making the spicy pork marinade…
You can find all of the ingredients at your local grocery store. Once the meat has been sliced, place it in a large zip lock bag, and add in the marinade ingredients. Start with a fourth of a cup, each, of gochujang (Korean hot chili paste), brown sugar and soy sauce. For spicier pork, you can use up to a third of a cup of gochujang (Korean chili paste).
Then, add in one tablespoon of chili flakes. You can omit the chili flakes, or lower the amount, for less spiciness. After, add in five scallions that have been cut into one-inch pieces, one tablespoon of rice vinegar, one and a half tablespoons of garlic, one inch of freshly grated ginger, two tablespoons of sesame seed oil and a large pinch of sesame seeds and black pepper.
Thoroughly coat the meat in the marinade, and let it rest for at least an hour before cooking. Meanwhile, cook the rice, wash the red leaf lettuce and slice the cucumbers.
Cook and assemble…
In a large pan over medium to medium-high heat, coated in a little bit of sesame oil, cook the meat for about one to two minutes per side or until it is cooked through. Do not overcrowd the pan, and be sure to watch the heat because the sugar will make it burn, quickly, if you are not careful.
Assemble lettuce wraps with one to two tablespoons of cooked rice, spicy pork bulgogi, and cucumbers. Additional toppings may include sesame seeds, scallions, and kimchi. ENJOY!
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- 2 c. white rice,, cooked
- 1 head red leaf lettuce, , whole leaves washed and dried.
- 1 small cucumber,, julienne (thin)
- 1 lbs thinly sliced pork shoulder,, sub pork loin or butt
- Pork Marinade
- 5 scallions,, cut into 1 inch pieces.
- ¼ c. gochujang Korean chili pepper paste,, up to ⅓ c. for spicier pork.
- 1 tbsp chili flakes,, optional - omit or lessen for reduced spiciness
- ¼ c brown sugar, , lightly packed
- ¼ c. tamari soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 ½ tbsp garlic,, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger,, grated
- 2 tbsp sesame oil,, plus more for frying
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Place thinly sliced pork and marinade ingredients into a large ziplock bag. Shake to coat, and let marinate for at least one hour.
- Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions, and slice the cucumbers.
- In a large pan coated with oil, cook the pork over medium-high heat, cook for about 1-2 minute per side, or until the pork is fully cooked and is starting to caramelized. Be careful not to burn. Set aside to cool.
- Assemble the lettuce wraps: 1-2 tbsp of rice, spicy pork bulgogi and fresh cucumber inside one large red lettuce leaf.
Pork should be sliced thinly, about ⅛ of an inch thick. Pork can be found pre-sliced at Asian grocery stores. You can also ask your butcher to slice it for you, or if you are slicing yourself, place meat in the freezer for about an hour (until firm). This will make it easier to slice.
Pork browns quickly because of the sugar, so watch the heat. Do not burn.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 6 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 2062mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 33g