Korean Lettuce Wraps



Prep Time

45 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes


Calories 361, Carbs 32 grams, Fat 8 grams, Protein 41 grams



  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (or extra firm tofu sliced into planks)
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped ripe Asian or Bosc pear (or 2 kiwis)
  • ½ small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, peeled
  • 1 scallion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 bunch leafy lettuce such as red oak, green leaf or romaine
  • Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • Any type of kimchi (for garnish)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • parilla or sesame leaves (optional)



  1. Cut the chicken into cubes.
  2. To make the marinade: In a food processor combine the garlic, pear, onion and ginger and process until very smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. In a bowl or zip top bag combine the chicken, marinade, scallion, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and pepper and mix well. Cover or seal then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. While the meat is marinating, prepare the garnishes: the lettuce leaves should be mounded in a large basket or platter (keep the lettuce cold and fresh by covering it with a damp paper towel); small dishes can hold the remaining garnishes.
  5. Preheat a large cast iron skillet or saute pan on high heat. Add all of the chicken and its juices to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently (chop sticks work great for this technique), until most (but not all) of the liquid has evaporated and the chicken gets brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately, directly from the skillet (this will keep the meat hot).
  6. To eat: Lay a lettuce leaf open on your palm. Add a perilla leaf (if using), a small lump of rice, 1 or 2 pieces of chicken and any other garnishes on top, then dab with gochujang. Wrap by lifting up the edges of the lettuce leaf, then twisting them together to make a tight bundle. Traditionally eaten in one bite!