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Korean Grilled Chicken in Lettuce Wrap

Koreans often cut grilled meat or poultry into bite-size pieces and eat them, wrapped in lettuce, with accompaniments such as rice, hot sauce, garlic and aromatic greens. It's a fun and convivial meal whether enjoyed with family or friends. Use medium-grain Korean or Japanese rice, such as sushi rice, or Italian short-grain rice.

Serve with: Korean pickled cabbage (kimchi)
This recipe makes 4 servings


  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) sake or dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated gingerroot
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
  • 1 green_onion, minced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) Korean hot pepper paste
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 2 heads leaf or Boston lettuce, separated
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


  • In bowl, mix together soy sauce, sake, 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the sesame seeds, the sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, green onion, pepper and cayenne. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Marinate for up to 8 hours.)
  • Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, about 12 minutes. Cut into strips; sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.
  • Accompaniments: Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix together hot pepper paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Arrange lettuce leaves and watercress on platter; place rice and garlic in separate small bowls. Let each diner spoon some of the rice onto lettuce leaf; top with chicken, watercress, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Wrap leaf around filling.

Additional Information

  • Substitution: You can replace the Korean hot pepper paste with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco.

Source: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen