This dish has a couple of my favorite Asian ingredients…miso and gochujang paste. Miso has that nutty and savory edge, while the gochujang gives it the spicy punch with richness. Miso is Japanese fermented soybean paste. It’s what’s in your miso soup when you go to a Japanese restaurant. Gochujang is Korean fermented chili paste. Both of these are always in my fridge because they’re so versatile for sauces and marinades.
I made these for Halloween because every year, we go to Sunny’s home for appetizers and drinks. The adults need some fun too, right? And her neighborhood is CRAZY. We always say it’s like a scene from a movie with tons of kids, and homes decorated like amusement sites, complete with music, smoke machines and entertainment. Her doorbell literally rings every 2 minutes for three hours, so it’s impossible to have a sit down meal. Appies work best. And my Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps are so hearty, since the meat sits atop some rice. I guess it’s on the larger size of being an appetizer, but since it’s hand held, you could say it’s a generous appie…a true Big Bang Bite.
Don’t feel like you have to use pork. You can sub with beef, turkey, or chicken. You can also use another type of lettuce. I like the bib lettuce because the leaves are shaped like cups, so it’s easy to fill and hold.
Makes 12 or more
- 1 carrot
- 2 stalks green onion
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 T gochujang paste (Asian food aisle)
- 2 T sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 T tamari sauce or soy sauce
- 1 tsp white miso (Asian food aisle)
- 3 garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Roasted sesame seeds
- Bibb lettuce
- About 2 cups of cooked rice
Use a mandolin to grate the carrot into fine shreds. Chop the green onions. Set aside for garnish.
Brown the ground pork in a little bit of oil. Drain off most of the liquid except for about a tablespoon.
Combine the next nine ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended. Add to the meat and cook on low heat until the sauce thickens.
To assemble, place some rice on the lettuce. Top with meat. Garnish with the carrot shreds, green onion, and roasted sesame seeds.