Bulgogi Inspired Lettuce Wraps 

by MJ

A modified version of bulgogi traditionally made with thin slices of beef. This recipe is from my recent book One Pan College Cookbook and made for my cooking demo at Tanaka Farms using their fresh seasonal produce.

Ground beef is substituted for a budget-friendly option with less marinating time for a quick and easy snack or light meal ready in 20 minutes.

Bul means “fire” and Gogi means “meat”. While bulgogi usually refers to thin slices of grilled /cooked marinated beef, any meat can be used with the literal term of “fire meat”. Feel free to substitute ground beef with ground chicken, turkey, pork or meat alternative for a vegan option.

Serve as lettuce wraps for a low carb snack or light meal or over rice as a bowl. You can also top with fresh vegetables such as radish or grated carrots or sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms or spinach. I love topping mine with kimchi!

To make quick kimchi, refer to the Fresh Kimchi Recipe.

Bulgogi Inspired Lettuce Wraps

Serves: 2
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar or sugar
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or gochgaru ( korean red pepper flakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • Optional toppings: kimchi, carrots, radish, etc.  
  • Optional garnish: green onions or sesame seeds
  • Serving: cooked rice as a bowl or lettuce leaves as a wrap


In a bowl, add the ground beef, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and red pepper flakes and mix together. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prep the remaining ingredients.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 30 seconds. 

Add the marinated meat and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned or until the meat is cooked.

Taste and add more soy sauce or seasonings, as needed.  Add optional toppings and serve as wraps over lettuce leaves or as a bowl over cooked rice.

Did You Make This Recipe?
Would love to see your dish! Tag me on Instagram at @lovekoreanfood_.

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