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5 from 6 votes
Close up vertical photo of Korean Meatball Lettuce Wraps with sauce being drizzled on top.
Korean Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Looking to eat a little lighter and leaner? These Korean Meatball Lettuce Wraps are easy, healthy and so delicious! The meatballs also make a fabulous appetizer that will disappear in the blink of an eye!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Korean Meatball Lettuce Wraps, Korean Meatballs
Servings: 6
Calories: 356 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 scallions finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely diced bell pepper red, orange or yellow (or a combination)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 medium cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons Gochujang Korean chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • sesame seeds thinly sliced green onions and cilantro for garnish
For the sauce:
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons gochujang Korean chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar I use dark but light will also work
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the meatballs:
  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. If you use foil, spray it lightly with baking spray or rub with a bit of oil. If using parchment, use a large enough piece so that the sides extend slightly over the edges of the pan.
  2. Combine the ground beef, scallions, bell pepper, ginger, garlic, panko, egg, Gochujang and kosher salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix until combined but don’t overwork the meat mixture.

  3. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop into approximately 3 tablespoon size portions. With slightly wet hands, roll the scoops of meat into balls with the palm of your hand. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate the meatballs (covered with plastic wrap) for 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours). You can also freeze the meatballs at this point.

  4. Preheat the oven to 425˚F with a rack positioned near the top of the oven.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes. (If meatballs are frozen, give them an extra 5-6 minutes.)

  6. Remove meatballs from the oven. Using a fork, dip each meatball into the sauce to coat then return to the baking pan. Bake for another 4-5 minutes until meatballs are nicely glazed.

  7. Serve with the extra sauce along with Bib, Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves and optional garnishes of rice, shredded red cabbage, thinly sliced cucumber, pickled red onions, scallions, cashews, sesame seeds and/or herb leaves (cilantro, basil, mint).

For the sauce:
  1. While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients except for the Gochujang in a small saucepan and stir.

  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Add 1 tablespoon of the Gochujang. Taste and add more to the desired heat level. Set sauce aside.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips. Recipe makes 16-20 meatballs, depending on the size.

Serves 6 with 3 meatballs per serving

Nutrition Facts
Korean Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 846mg37%
Potassium 369mg11%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 937IU19%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.