Korean-Style Grilled Elk Lettuce Wraps
Courtesy of Chef John McGannon, wildeats.com
Often overlooked, Korean-style barbecue is one of my favorite cuisines. The vast assortment of pickled vegetables, chilies, sake and full-flavored meats pairs well with wild game. And the style, which features quick, eat-as-you-go cooking is light and exciting. Team that with a bunch of small, almost bite-sized portions and you have a social nirvana waiting to happen.
The Korean approach is to match highly seasoned meats with a wide variety of refreshing, acidic, sweet and spiced condiments. The result yields a limitless variety of flavors that will suit just about anyone’s palate.
2 lbs elk loin, top rounds or top sirloins—trimmed of all silver skin, fat and tendons, thinly sliced 1⁄4 inch
2 tbsp brown sugar
Lay the sliced meat out on a sheet pan and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Rub into the meat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Then, marinate the meat for 10 minutes with the following mixture:
Sake Soy Marinade
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
1⁄4 cup sesame oil
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1⁄4 cup rice wine (sake)
pinch of black pepper
scallions, sesame seeds, pickled cucumbers, curried cauliflowers, blanched bean sprouts, seaweed, chilled sweet potatoes, daikon, etc.
Once the meat is marinated, pre-heat a grill and quickly cook the meat. Do not overcook it. Allow the meat to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing into smaller portions. Serve in little cups of crisp lettuce. Drizzle with the sauce below and serve with kimchi.
Korean Dipping Sauce
1 1⁄2 cups soy sauce
1 cup soybean paste
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper sliced thin
2-3 tbsp canola oil (or vegetable)
1 cup dry sake
1 bunch of scallions, chopped fine
Place all the ingredients in a small sauce pot and slowly bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste and set aside. This dipping sauce can be served with any meat or fish and will store for a month in the refrigerator.
Click here to make your own kimchi garnish.
John McGannon is a RMEF life member, host of wild game cooking seminars at Elk Camp and owner of WildEats Enterprises.