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All lettuce cups are not created equal - these are jam-packed full of flavor

Lettuce cups inspired by Korean Bulgogi with bell peppers and onions

A few summers ago, for one of my good friend's birthdays, we went to this lovely Korean BBQ place in West Berlin. We got to grill outdoors in the building's courtyard and it was a total delight. So now when the summer rolls around, I crave this kind of Korean BBQ food.

As I'm trying to reduce a my animal product consumption (I know it sounds pretty clinical so I'm open for other ways of phrasing this), I was curious to see if I could attempt a bulgogi in lettuce wraps but veganified.

After seeing many different types of recipes, I really liked the idea from the Kale Sandwich Show. My partner really doesn't like having fruit in the house, so in an attempt to replace the apple in the marinade, I just ended up omitting it. I saw that Maangchi adds carrot slices to hers, so I thought maybe that could add a little sweetness instead. We didn't have carrots on hand, so I went with some bell peppers and onions in the final cooking mixture. It might not be close to authentic, but it was a pretty delicious weeknight meal none the less.

If you want to eat a bit more plant-based but you're eating with others who just want their meat, you can absolutely follow the recipe the same way, just replace the seitan with thin slices of beef. I'm in a household where this happens frequently (and in this picture here) and it wasn't an issue.

TIP: If you make a double batch of the seitan, you can use it as the protein in the dinner tomorrow night.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Seitan

1 cup wheat gluten

2 tbsp chickpea flour

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 cup water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

Bulgogi marinade

1/2 medium onion

3 garlic cloves

1 scallion/green onion

3-4 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

To cook

4 bell peppers, cut into cubes

24 mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

To assemble

2 heads soft lettuce

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Recipe

STEP 1

For the seitan, Combine and mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together and pour into wheat gluten mixture. Stir until combined. Knead 3-4 minutes to develop gluten.

STEP 2

Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes. Knead a few more times and shape into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap with a layer of parchment paper followed by a layer of tinfoil. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45-50 minutes. Slice, cube, chop seitan and use in any recipe as a meat substitute.

STEP 3

For the marinade, Puree onion, apple, garlic and green onion to a paste. Stir paste into soy sauce and sesame oil. Marinate seitan slices in bulgogi sauce for at least 1 hour (or overnight).

STEP 4

In a lightly oiled frying pan, on medium-high heat saute 1/2 a sliced onion for 1 minute. Add 7-8 sliced mushrooms and bell pepper and continue frying for 2-3 minutes. Add marinated seitan slices and cook for 6-8 minutes.

STEP 5

To assemble, place a little of the seitan and veggie mixture into a lettuce leaf. Wrap up and eat!

More

Bell pepperMushroomsJuly

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MEET YOUR MEAL

Every Sunday evening, I send out a newsletter with the following week's dinner menu, and the seasonal produce featured. The newsletter is free, and I won't share or sell your email address.

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- Julia Feld