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Korean BBQ beef slices sit on a lettuce leaf. There is a garnish of green onions and drizzle of sauce.
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5 from 2 votes

Korean BBQ Beef Lettuce Cups

Korean style BBQ beef strips in tender leaves of lettuce make the perfect light starter for any party.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 30 lettuce cups


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce low sodium
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds beef top round steak
  • 2 heads butter lettuce tender, young leaves


  • Yoshida Gourmet Sauce
  • 2-3 green onions


  • Combine everything except the beef, lettuce and the garnish in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag. Seal and shake to mix. Add the beef and marinate at room temperature at least 4 hours. (Alternately marinate the night before in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature 1-2 hours before cooking.)
  • Remove the beef and grill over high flame 90 seconds on each side to sear the meat and set grill marks. Reduce grill to a low flame and cook until medium rare, turning as needed. This is about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and heat of your grill. Remove and let meat rest for 15 minutes .
  • Meanwhile, mince up 2-3 green onions.
  • Use a small paring knife to remove the core at the base of the lettuce. This will cause the head to come apart into leaves. Wash lettuce and pat dry.
  • Slice the beef into thin slices against the grain. Cut each slice into bite sized pieces.
  • Lay leaves of lettuce on a serving tray. Place pieces of beef in the lettuce cups. Use one piece for a tiny leaf and 2-3 pieces for a larger leaf.
  • Garnish with bits of green onion and drizzles of youshida sauce. Serve immediately.


Do ahead: If you are planning a party with lots of cooking make the marinade up to a week before you need it. The meat can be marinated the night before as long as you refrigerate it. On the day of the party cook the beef about an hour before you want to serve it and let it rest longer. Assemble the cups right before you want to serve them.