Korean Kimchi Beef Lettuce Wraps
Low Carb Lettuce wraps with Korean Kimchi and Beef
If you are a fan of kimchi, you’ve got to make these Korean kimchi beef lettuce wraps. They’re simple to make but packed with flavor from cooking beef with kimchi, garlic, and sesame oil. Top simple toppings of green onions, carrots, kimchi, and egg.
Kimchi is a spiced fermented cabbage. In South Korea, the average individual consumes over 40 lbs of kimchi each year. If each family makes their own kimchi, we’re talking about a LOT of kimchi. They actually have special refrigeration units and containers for kimchi. I’d suggest a jar with an air-tight lid if you get kimchi.
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As it is loaded with probiotics, kimchi is a fermented vegetable. There are many health benefits which a quick internet search will outline. I like kimchi because its an easy way to get vegetables into our diet as well as probiotics. The flavors vary wildly. Some are pretty mild, some are very sour, some are spicy… it really depends on who makes it.
Where to Find Kimchi
It is very easy to access kimchi these days. I’ve found it at Trader Joes, Walmart, and most grocery stores in the refrigerated salad section (generally). Do check the labels, some companies add MSG and I try to find brands that don’t have MSG. The price point is about $5 for a 1-pint jar. So, it is not cheap, but you can make it stretch! We’ve recently started getting 1-gallon sized jars from a Korean grocery store for $15. If you live in an area with a large Korean population, definitely check out Korean grocery stores!
If you find you really like Kimchi, there are endless tutorials online for making it yourself. General ingredients for kimchi include napa cabbage, radish, red pepper powder, garlic, onion, shrimp sauce, and ginger. I’ve never made kimchi myself, so you won’t find a tutorial here, at least for now.
Inspiration for this Recipe
If you’ve visited my blog before, you may know that I lived in China for a few years. The area that I lived in was north of North Korea and had a lot of Korean influence on the culture. There were many Korean restaurants that we frequently visited. Wrap style restaurants are fairly common. You’ll either grill your own meat or order dishes of meat and different toppings and put your wraps together ant your table.
South Korea is a very fun place to travel to, and I’ve been there probably a dozen times (layovers, visits to see my sister, etc.). Most Korean BBQ restaurants serve lettuce to eat cooked meat with. Thus this recipe was inspired by Korea. I told my sister about the recipe and she said that they would probably make it with pork there in South Korea since beef is expensive. Well, that is also an option (or ground chicken or turkey!)!
Ingredients + Optional ideas For Korean Kimchi Beef Lettuce Wraps
This recipe looks fancy, but in all reality, it is ridiculously easy to make. The ingredients are pretty straightforward too.
- Ground beef
- Julienned carrots
- Green Onions
- Sesame oil
This recipe was kept simple but you can add a gochujang sauce (Korean spicy-sweet pepper sauce), or maybe a garlic aioli sauce.
Tips for making Korean Kimchi Beef Lettuce Wraps
The main flavor of this meal comes from kimchi. So, above all, make sure you have kimchi. The beef is seasoned with garlic, sesame oil, and kimchi.
My top suggestion is to slice the toppings thin.
For the egg, whisk it and cook it in a thin layer then cool it. Roll up the egg and slice it in thin shoestring pieces.
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Kimchi Beef Lettuce Wraps
For the ground beef
- 1 lb Ground beef
- 1 c Kimchi Thinly sliced
- 3 cloves Garlic pressed
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- Salt to taste
Toppings & Lettuce
- 1 Head butter lettuce Rinsed and dried
- ½ c Carrots julienned
- 1-2 tsp oil or butter for cooking the egg
- 1 egg
- 3 green onions Thick portion only, sliced thin
- ½ c kimchi Thinly sliced
- Rinse butter lettuce leaves and set aside.
- Beat egg and preheat a skillet. Add 1-2 tsp of oil or butter. Cook egg in a thin layer. Roll up the egg and remove from heat.
- Slice the egg in very thin slices to create shoestring sized pieces.
- In a frying pan, cook ground beef until 80% cooked.
- Add garlic using a garlic press.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add 1 cup of thinly sliced kimchi.
- Drizzle 1 tsp of sesame oil over the meat mixture.
- Continue to cook the beef until it is 100% cooked.
- Serve with all of the prepared side items.