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Korean Beef in Lettuce Cups with Kimchi Rice

Korean Beef with Kimchi Rice

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 24 hours (Includes marinade time)
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Cuisine: Korean


An easy marinade full of bold Korean-BBQ-style flavors brings together a complete meal the whole family can enjoy.



For the marinade:

  • 1 1/2 pounds well-marbled rib eye steaks
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 Pear, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the rice:

  • 1 cup white rice, jasmine or sushi
  • 1/2 cup (approximately) prepared kimchi

For the sides:

  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems remove, caps sliced
  • 1 cooking onion, sliced
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce


  1. Place the rib eye in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Once chilled, it will be easier to slice thin.
  2. Place the marinade ingredients from the rice vinegar through to the ginger in a blender or food processor and blend until liquefied. Stir in the sesame seeds and green onion.
  3. Slice the rib eye steaks into thin slices and place in a glass dish. Pour the marinade over the meat, cover dish and refrigerate. Marinade for a minimum of 8 hours, or up to 24 hours.
  4. Start the rice about 20 minutes before you plan to sear your steak. Measure the rice and water into a medium saucepan according to the package instructions. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer, cover pot, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the rice cooks, prepare the mushrooms and onions. Set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the pan and oil are very hot, add the mushrooms and onions. Cook until everything is caramelized, stirring often. Transfer to a clean plate.
  6. Once rice is done cooking, remove from heat. Stir in the prepared kimchi. Add as much or as little to suit your taste. Season with salt to taste.
  7. To cook the meat, set the large cast iron skillet back over medium-high heat. You want a very hot pan so the meat cooks very quickly. You can also grill the meat if desired. Once the skillet is hot, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then, lift the steak out of the marinade, shake off excess so there isn’t too much liquid in the pan and lay the pieces in the hot pan and sear quickly. Flip the pieces as soon as they are caramelized, about 2 minutes. Do not crowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary. Once browned on both sides, transfer to plate with mushrooms and repeat with remaining meat.
  8. When the last batch of meat is just about done cooking, add back the mushrooms and steak and toss everything together. Prepare each dinner plate with a few leaves of Bibb lettuce. Top with kimchi rice and beef with mushrooms and onions. Finish with a sprinkle of extra sesame seeds and/or sliced green onion, if desired. Serve warm!