I am always looking for ways to spice up mundane weeknights with fun and different dinners. Veering from the norm for dinner can help break up the monotony of the work week and make dinner feel like an exotic adventure and these lettuce wraps are no exception. Even better, they do not take long to prepare, making them a viable choice, even after the busiest day. I call for Sambal Oelek Chili Paste in this recipe, which is a deliciously spicy paste of ground chiles. I found it at my local grocer in the Asian section; so you should be able to as well. More information on the product can be found here: Sambal Oelek Chili Paste – important to note, they are also the geniuses behind one of my favorite hot sauces, Sriracha.
At any rate, put these lettuce wraps on your menu to add flair and spice to your midweek meals.
Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 pear, peeled and quartered
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tsp Sambal Oelek Chili Paste, plus extra for topping lettuce wraps
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rough chopped ginger
- 3 tbsp water
- 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin, sliced into 3 inch long, 1 inch wide pieces
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 heads butter or bib lettuce
- 3 carrots, julienne
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Place first 11 ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Put pork strips into a resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade, making sure the pork is well coated. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Pre-heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
- Remove pork from refrigerator and grill 3 – 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and garnish with sesame seeds.
- Serve immediately with lettuce, carrots, cabbage, green onions and additional Sambal Oelek.