Korean Lettuce Wrap-16

I was recently listening to a meditation series and one of the episodes was about play.  This last week of August, going into the holiday weekend, seems like a perfect time to meditate on this.  Play is an important aspect of our lives, especially our creative lives, but with our busy schedules we often don’t give enough importance to it.  Creation comes from play.

Korean Lettuce Wrap

When we let go and see what comes up we get back to the true essence of ourselves.  As we live more lightly, with less fear and less judgment we open ourselves to new experiences and to new life.  Part of play is just being spontaneous.  Talk to strangers, when you get invited to do something you’ve never done before –  say yes.  Push your limits a little bit, push them a lot, and see what comes up.  Sometimes inspiration and play is as easy as saying yes to what is in front of you…

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I spent last week playing in Montauk and I wanted to make something cool, but filling for lunch to satisfy my crazy post-surf hunger.  My friend suggested we make Korean lettuce wraps filled with beef and fresh herbs.  It was a brilliant idea, washed down with an ice-cold beer it’s the perfect late summer lunch.

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KOREAN GRILLED BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS inspired by Pete Wells recipe in the New York Times. It’s traditional to also fold in rice with these wraps, which you can easily do, but I thought it was great without. You can also add other raw vegetables like carrots and anything pickled would be a great addition. Be creative and play with whatever you have.

1½ lbs. rib eye, or other well-marbled steak
¼ cup soy sauce
1 ½  tbs. honey
1 tsp. red chili flakes
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 scallion minced
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. black pepper

large lettuce leaves
chopped scallions
freshly torn herbs (any mix of mint, basil, shiso and cilantro would work well)
thinly sliced radishes
thinly sliced cucumbers
Sriracha or other chili sauce
steamed rice (optional)
pickled vegetables (optional)

Wrap steak in plastic and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes while you whisk together a marinade of soy, honey, chili flakes, garlic, scallions, sesame oil, sesame seeds and pepper.  Cut the steak against the grain into ¼ inch strips.  Marinate the strips of steak for 30 minutes in the soy mixture.

Preheat the grill to its highest setting, when it’s hot, sear the steak on each side for 2-3 minutes.

Serve the meat with all the condiments so each person can make their own wrap – filling the large lettuce leaves with beef, veggies, herbs and a dash of chili sauce. Fold and eat with your hands.