Korean on the Whole30

September 30, 2018

When I entered the Whole30 journey, I wanted to try to find one Korean recipe that could be Whole30 compliant. Googling led me to this Whole30 Bulgogi recipe that I will actually keep in my regular rotation since it was a delicious substitute that didn't make me miss normal bulgogi. 

Since rice wasn't Whole30 approved, eating the bulgogi in lettuce wraps made the most sense, but still required some creative substitutions for the accompaniments (ssamjang sauce and pickled radish/kimchi are definitely not Whole30 friendly). A tweaked recipe for scallion salad (Pa Muchim), pickled onions and Sambal Oelek (hot sauce) provided the perfect toppers for the bulgogi inside the lettuce wrap. 

And as an bonus, I used ground beef rather than flank steak to speed up the cooking/prep time! 
Whole30 Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps with Pa Muchim and Pickled Onions adapted from the defined dishKorean Bapsang and Serious EatsServes 2
1 lb ground beef (I used 85% lean)
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs coconut aminos
1 tbs sesame oil
1/2 pear, grated
1/2 tsp Red Boat fish sauce (found at Trader Joe's/Whole Foods/Sprouts/Asian Markets)
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp gochugaru or crushed red pepper flakes
1 green onion, chopped
1. Combine beef with the remaining ingredients together and mix to evenly distribute marinade (but don't overmix!).
2. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
3. On a skillet over medium-high heat, cook beef until cooked through and no longer pink (5-7 minutes).

For Pa Muchim:
3-4 scallions
2 tsp gochugaru
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp coconut aminos
1. Cut scallions into 4-inch pieces. Then thinly slice lengthwise.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients with the scallions.

For Pickled Onions:
1 large red onion
Red wine, apple cider or white vinegar
1. Slice red onion thinly.
2. Place onions in a bowl and cover them with vinegar and stir.
3. Let sit for 15 mins-1 hour. Refrigerate leftovers.

For Lettuce Wraps:
Pa Muchim
Pickled Onions
Sambal Oelek
Butter, bibb or Romaine lettuce leaves
1. Fill each lettuce cup with a small serving of bulgogi, pa muchim, pickled onions and a dollop of Sambal Oelek.
2. Enjoy!

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