This recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s “Korean-Style Pork Wraps with Chili Sauce” from 2006. I don’t make it as often as my husband would like, but I guess that keeps it special. It isn’t hard to make, but you do have to make both a marinade and a chili sauce, and the lettuce leaves are a pain to deal with. I suggest making both the marinade and sauce in advance, so you’re not trying to do all the chopping and measuring and mixing right before dinnertime. It also helps if you have a rice cooker. If you work it out right, you could throw this together after a day of working, because the actual cooking time is brief—like 5 minutes! Could you marinate the pork tenderloin the night before or in the morning? I don’t see why not.
Before pork tenderloins got into the public consciousness, they weren’t easy to find, but when you did find them, they were well trimmed. Now that they are everywhere, butchers stopped trimming them as well, so you need to do a little trimming of your own, which adds time to your preparation. Watch this quick video on how to trim the tenderloin.
Korean-Style Pork Wraps
1 pork tenderloin (about 1.5 lbs), trimmed, thinly sliced, and marinated
I cut the tenderloin in half lengthwise and then slice each half into very thin slices. Following the advice in Emiril’s recipe, it really does help to freeze the tenderloin for at least 40 mins before slicing. Add that time to your preparation. Mix the following ingredients and add to the sliced pork in a shallow dish or plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hr.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2-4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Mix the drizzling sauce. Vary the amounts of hot sauce and honey to suit your tastes:
- 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce, Sriracha is suggested; I used the chili-garlic sauce made by the same company.
- 2 tablespoons honey (this is a much greater amount than suggested, but we are past the days of wanting super hot food)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Quickly cook the marinated pork strips in vegetable oil over high heat. You can do this in a wok or large sauté pan. Mix in sesame seeds before serving. Did you know you can buy toasted seeds in a jar now?
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Build the wraps: The original recipe suggests eating the pork in lettuce leaves—maybe that’s the Korean part of the recipe. I did that once, but we prefer tortillas. I think the perfect combination is the lettuce leaf on the tortilla. Remove the hard vein in your lettuce leaves if present, so they are easy to wrap. Place one leaf or two small ones on a tortilla. Place a couple of tablespoons of cooked rice on the leaf. Spoon cooked pork on top of the rice and drizzle with a tablespoon or less of the sauce. Wrap and eat.
- 2 cups cooked jasmine, basmati, or any fragrant rice
- 1 head Boston, Bibb, or butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and patted dry
- 8-12 tortillas, soft taco size (I use whole wheat, but any will do)