Last week the library celebrated the lunar new year with an employee potluck and one of the librarians graciously invited me to attend. While Koreans do celebrate the lunar new year, I really don’t because new year to me is fireworks and champagne. 😀 I only recently became more familiar with the lunar new year and ummmm … honestly know more how the Chinese celebrate than Koreans do.
While I was honored and pleased to be invited, it also created a tiny bit of anxiety in me because I wanted to bring a dish to pass but I … ummmmm … don’t really like Korean food. There, I said it. Kimchee is gross. But I felt a strong need to represent my heritage so I spent hours on Pinterest trying to find something that sounded good.
And I did. Thank goodness. In fact, it was quite delightful. And healthy.
I may even have to revise my distaste for Korean food.
Maybe. Because kimchee is still gross.
These lettuce wraps are quite easy to make and most of the ingredients are likely in your pantry with the exception of the gochujang sauce (also known as red pepper paste). The Asian market near me shockingly didn’t carry it, and I decided to use sambal oelek instead, since it felt like a kissing cousin to gochujang.
My old lady memory led me to believe I had some at home, which I did not, so I walked to Vons, which weirdly stocked gochujang.
Asian market = 0.
Vons = 2 brands of gochujang
Anyway, the meal comes together quickly as most Asian dishes do. It is spicy but not overwhelmingly so, which is a good thing for this spice wimp! They taste light and healthy and earned rave reviews at the celebration.
I plan on putting these on my monthly meal rotation to help me continue to enjoy good, healthy food as these wraps make a yummy, low-fat, low-carb dish. And I might even consider trying my hand at another Korean dish, provided it doesn’t contain any kimchee, of course. 😀