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Korean Beef Cups

IngredientsBeef, Greens, Vegetables
Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAsian
Korean Lettuce Cups

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy of Boggiatto Produce, Inc.

The Korean dish bulgogi is reimagined here in an innovative presentation that jumps on the bowl trend. Instead of piling the mixture into individual serving bowls, Chef Bennett scoops out small heads of iceberg lettuce to create edible bowls.


6 mini iceberg lettuce heads

Beef and marinade
2 1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck short ribs, cut into 1/4-in.-thick slices
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 yellow onion, peeled and grated
1/2 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 Asian pear, grated with skin
1/2 tbsp. minced ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. soy sauce
1 oz. sesame oil
1 tsp. Korean chili flakes (may substitute regular chili flakes)
1 oz. sake or white wine (or 1 tsp. vinegar)
2 oz. cola soft drink

Slaw vegetables
1/2 lb. Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup finely julienne-cut carrots
1 cup pea sprouts, trimmed

Slaw dressing
2 tbsp. brunoise-cut red bell peppers
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 oz. soy sauce
2 oz. sesame oil
2 tbsp. white sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp. black sesame seeds, toasted
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1 tbsp. chili garlic sambal

Rice noodles
1 packet rice noodles
6 oz. canola oil


  1. In mixing bowl, combine marinade ingredients; whisk well. Add sliced short ribs and toss well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 48 hours. You can also place the beef and marinade in a large resealable bag.
  2. Mix slaw dressing ingredients and refrigerate. Slaw can be prepared a day ahead.
  3. Prepare slaw vegetables, place in a resealable bag and refrigerate. This can also be prepared a day ahead.
  4. Rinse mini iceberg heads with cold water, let drip-dry and cut into quarters. Cut out the center leaves, leaving 2 or 3 of the outermost leaves and keeping the stem-hold intact to create small bowls. Cut the remaining lettuce into a fine julienne. Refrigerate until ready for use.
  5. Grill short rib slices over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side, occasionally brushing with some marinade. Ribs should be well grill-marked, glazed and cooked through. Remove ribs from grill and let rest 5 minutes.
  6. Combine slaw ingredients and julienned lettuce in a large stainless steel bowl and toss with dressing.
  7. Add beef at the last second and toss gently.
  8. Fill each of the lettuce cups with Korean slaw and beef mixture. Plate 3 mini lettuce cups per order.
  9. For garnish, heat oil in shallow pan. Add rice noodles and fry until crisp. Arrange cups next to a bed of noodles.

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