Today, I will show you how to wrap Korean BBQ. One of the uniquenesses of Korean cuisine is wrapping BBQ with a variety of leafy greens, other vegetables, and a wrapping sauce called “ssamjang.” How man times have we eaten a main dish and not got enough vegetables in our diet? I know I have done it more times that I would like to admit. In that point, this is a healthy way to enjoy eating meat. You can use this method of eating with many other kinds of Korean BBQ and meat. However, in this post, I will use the Sempio bulgogi recipe that I just posted. I also posted a homemade bulgogi recipe in the past, so you can check it out too. If you are a vegetarian, you can fry some tofu, eggs, or mushrooms and wrap those instead of the meat. That will be delicious too.
Short Korean Lesson
- Byeok (벽) = Wall
- GyeDan (계단) = Steps
- Cooked Bulgogi
- Various Lettuce & Other Leafy Greens
- Perilla Leaves
- 2 Tbsp Soybean Paste
- 1 Tbsp Red Pepper Paste
- 1 Tbsp Corn Syrup or Honey
- ½ Tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- ½ tsp Sesame Seeds
Wash some of your favorite leafy greens including some perilla leaves. Perilla leaves are commonly used for wrapping meat in Korea. The leafy greens can be romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, mustard greens, etc. Set them aside to dry.
Cut some cucumbers and carrots into ½ inch thick sticks. Slice some garlic very thinly. Slice some onion thinly. Cut some hot peppers into ¼ inch pieces.
To make the wrapping sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients together: 2 Tbsp soybean paste, 1 Tbsp red pepper paste, 1 Tbsp corn syrup (or honey), ½ Tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp sesame oil, and ½ tsp sesame seeds. You will get about ¼ cup of sauce. If you like to eat this often, you can make a larger portion ahead of time and then store it in the refrigerator to serve whenever you need it.
This is how I served the chopped vegetables.
… and …
This is how I served the leaves.
To wrap the meat, place one or two green leaves in your hand. Then add one perilla leaf on top. Put one or 2 pieces of cooked meat on top of the leaves. Add any other chopped vegetables that you like. I like to add one of everything on mine as you can see. Lastly, add some of the special sauce on top.
Fold the leaves to make a ball, sealing it shut the top. Now eat!
It is a kind gesture in Korea to make a lettuce wrap and give (or feed) it to somebody. Usually this happens between family, relatives, couple, or close friends. Since it is considered to be a kind expression of feelings, if you are blind dating or if you are in a group meeting in Korea, this can be a good way to express your interest in somebody. Maybe if somebody gave you a lettuce wrap like this, he or she may have been trying to show their interest in you, if they were of the opposite sex and single. There are always exceptions, but in many cases this is true. hehe