Korean Style Teriyaki Beef Lettuce Wraps

A couple months ago I was contacted by Back To The Roots, a company that sells grow-your-own-gourmet-mushroom kits using composted coffee grounds. Before I even got two sentences into the email from them I had hit reply with a message that went something like this:

“Yes! Whatever you’re asking me, yes! I love mushrooms. LOVE ’em. What do you want me to do? I’ll do it!”

And then I sensibly went back and read the rest of the email.

As it turned out, my original response was entirely suitable to what they had asked me. They offered me my own oyster mushroom kit, a kit to give away to my readers (that’s YOU FOLKS!) and a ten-percent discount code for the rest of you to use so you can order your own kits from Back To The Roots. (Discount code: mushrooms4me10 ). And let me tell you, I was pretty impressed with the company.

I waited until I got back from the ranch to start growing my mushrooms and it’s a good thing I did because eight days in, BAM. I had about a pound of giant, gorgeous oyster mushrooms shooting out of my kit. I got so excited that I sliced them all off and cooked them before it even occurred to me to take a picture. Ahem. I was excited. Did I mention I like mushrooms a lot?

Thankfully, the instructions told me  how to get a second crop from the kit and I wrote myself many little sternly worded notes about taking a picture before cooking the mushrooms. This was my second crop:

I had never noticed before just how pretty mushrooms are. They’re so delicate and lovely that it was almost a shame to slice them up and cook them.

…Almost a shame. Not quite. No. Not really at all. I carried on and sallied forth and made one of the best summer meals we’ve had this year. Korean-Style Teriyaki Beef Lettuce Wraps*.

*If this beef looks familiar, it’s because it is. This is a very gently adapted version of my Jangsanjeok recipe but served over garlicky oyster mushroom soba noodles and wrapped in lettuce.

Don’t let the length of the ingredient list freak you out. The recipe is incredibly simple to pull together. Both the beef and noodles can be prepared as much as a day in advance of serving, making it a great solution for summer entertaining on steamy evenings. Substantial but not heavy, flavourful and exotic, these lettuce wraps are a crowd-pleaser. Alternatively, you could skip the crowd and eat it all yourself. Not that I’ve done that. I’m just saying.

So, this contest. You want the rules? Leave a comment. Tell me what you would do with your oyster mushroom bounty. Tell me how cool you think it is that they grow in composted coffee. Tell me you’d give this kit to your Aunt Marge because she loves mushrooms. Just tell me something!  The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here on Monday, August 15th. Good luck everyone!

Update: Our winner is lucky comment #50: Janis who will be naming her burl Roger :-) Please email me your mailing address, Janis and happy mycelium tending.

A free mushroom kit was sent to me and one is being provided for this giveaway by the generous folks at Back To The Roots but all opinions and experiences discussed here are my own. What can I say? I’m enthusiastic about this product.

Korean Style Teriyaki Beef Lettuce Wraps
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spicy, sweet, garlicky, gingery Korean-style teriyaki simmered beef patties on a bed of garlic oyster mushroom noodles get the fresh leaf lettuce wrap treatment for the ultimate summer meal. This is the stuff of cravings. Best yet, everything can be done ahead of time and chilled, making this a great fit for entertaining on warm evenings.
Serves: 8 servings
For the Beef:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced (or pressed in a garlic press) garlic
  • 4 tablespoons raw sugar (can substitute white granulated sugar if necessary)
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for Simmering Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened apple or pear juice
  • 6 tablespoons raw sugar (can substitute white granulated sugar if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2? piece of ginger, thinly sliced*
  • 3 whole small dried red chilis (can substitute 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, can also reduce to suit heat preferences.)
  • 2 whole green onions, ends trimmed
For the Garlic Oyster Mushroom Noodles:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 cups oyster mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 6 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 8 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste) or Asian chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 pound soba noodles, cooked 1-2 minutes less than package instructions, drained and rinsed with very cold water
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Additional ingredients for serving:
  • 12-20 large leaves of lettuce (Bibb, leaf or romaine, preferably) rinsed and air dried
  • sliced green onions
  • toasted sesame seeds.
To Prepare the Beef:
  1. Preheat oven to broil (High Broil if your oven allows you to differentiate) with the oven rack between 6 to 8 inches from the heating element. (Alternately, you can heat your gas grill to High or lay a bed of hot coals in your charcoal grill.)
  2. Combine beef with all the other patty ingredients in a medium size bowl. Mix well with your hands until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Divide the meat into two portions. Pat each portion into a square or rectangle that is about ½? thick on a rimmed baking sheet. The patties do not have to be shaped perfectly, but try your best to get them evenly thick in order to promote even cooking.
  3. Broil or grill the beef for about 3 minutes on the first side. Carefully flip to prevent breakage. One spatula underneath and one spatula pressed lightly against the top works well for the manoeuver. Return the patty to the broiler or grill and cook until cooked through. This took 4 more minutes under my broiler. Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely.
  4. While patties cool, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a large skillet or braising pot.
  5. When the patties are completely cool, cut into squares that are about 1-inch to 1½-inches in size. Bring the sauce ingredients to a boil over medium high. Stir well, then add the patties to the sauce. Lower heat to medium low and simmer, basting the patties and turning occasionally, until the sauce has been reduced, is thick and syrupy and has been mostly absorbed.
  6. Serve hot or chilled.
To prepare the Garlic Oyster Mushroom Noodles:
  1. Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in it.
  2. When the oil is shimmering, add the mushrooms with a couple pinches of salt and stir to coat.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender and golden brown.
  4. Add garlic, raw sugar, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and gochujang. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and somewhat thickened around the mushrooms.
  5. Add the noodles to the pan and toss to coat.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the green onions and sesame seeds. Let cool to room temperature or colder before serving.
To Assemble Lettuce Wraps:
  1. Lay out several large lettuce leaves.
  2. Arrange about ⅛ cup of noodles on each leaf and top with two or so of the simmered beef patties.
  3. Garnish with additional sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.



  1. Harrison says

    wow a mushroom kit! that would be awesome to grow in the dorm since we can do that, and then i can harvest them to put into my rice cooker and make something awesome like hotpot or something for the wintertime 😀

  2. Yasmin says

    I’d like to say that I’d be nice and give this gift to someone…but, nooooo, I want it all to myself!! I love mushrooms – on pizza, in omelets, on salads. I’ve also wanted to try making a hearty mushroom bourguignon. Yay.

  3. Laura Lindsay says

    Confession first: I don’t cook a whole lot. Your blog makes me wish I did!

    I really really want to, but there’s not enough time left after everything else I want to do. One thing I can do, though, is stir-fry mushrooms. With salt and buttah and garlic. And throw them over pasta. And eat the whole bowlful myself. I’ve been known to share in the distant past. But not recently. And especially not where mushrooms are concerned. Jut thought we should get all of that out front first thing.

  4. DeeDee V. says

    I love mushrooms! I think this would be a really fun project to do with my boys…and my anti-shroom 8 year old may try them if he helps grow them (maybe…)

  5. says

    Shrooms, shrooms, shrooms. I LOVE them!! I’m talking love them like I love onions! I can eat them in anything…favorite way is in a creamy pasta dish. I just made a Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta (post coming) loaded with mushrooms! Thanks for the chance Rebecca!

  6. Christi says

    I was just thinking today as I chopped mushrooms to go in my lunch salad, “Why am I not growing my own mushrooms?!” Perfect timing on this give-away!

  7. marcie smith says

    Honestly, I wouldn’t give it away… I’d keep it for myself, take good care of it while it grows the mushroom, harvest them, saute them and dump them right where they belong….. on top of a pasta dish or into a cheesy omelette along with some grilled asparagus because they go so well together. Thanks!

  8. Connie says

    Mushrooms are the perfect little morsels. They should have their own place on the food pyramid. I always double the amount that is called for in a recipe. You can never have too many mushrooms. I have always wanted to grow my own from a kit. But, I wasn’t sure about how safe it was. I love everything you make or do so I can’t wait to place my order.

  9. Cheryl says

    You see, I’m the only one in my house that eats mushrooms. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m going to share because I don’t have to. My kids would find it cool to watch them grow though, especially my 8 year old. She loves gardening and cooking. She even has her own apron and an Easy Bake oven. She ran a mini cake store out of our garage last month with that oven. :)

  10. Leah Shull says

    Wow. Wow wow wow. Salivating over these mushrooms! I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t do with them–share them with my hubby! He doesn’t appreciate the shroom.

  11. Marriah says

    OH! I just looooove mushrooms. My kids don’t like them but I tell them that since I’m the one doin the cooking they will just have to start lovin em too.

  12. says

    Oh holy cow, do I love mushrooms! I’d love to learn to hunt them, but it seems that growing them is safer.

    Oh, and I made your General Tso’s Chicken the other night, and it was a major hit, thank you!

  13. says

    I think I might just stare at their loveliness. Or make a saute for crostini. Or gee…how about make your Garlic Oyster Mushroom Noodles! Do I get bonus points for that?

  14. kate C. says

    You mean what I would do besides make this recipe???? I don’t know, I’d use them in everything probably, I LOVE mushrooms!

  15. Rita says

    Wow a mushroom kit! I’ve never heard of these but I would absolutely love to try it out. I have a slight obsession with mushrooms and put them on just about everything!

  16. Sandi Benoit says

    Growing mushrooms would be a HOOT! It sure beats that fuzzy stuff that grows in a forgotten container, way in the back of the fridge!! Hmmmm what would I do with them?? Homemade cream of mushroom soup!

  17. says

    What fun! My daughter and I would love
    to use our own mushrooms! Hmmmm. What diah?
    I think we would use it in Korean Chapchae!
    It’s our favorite!

  18. Lisa Moose says

    Becca – You know how much I love to win prizes! Now to think of something incredibly clever and original to do with oyster mushrooms.
    Oyster mushroom clothing or jewelry would get kind of gross and stinky pretty fast. I love the idea of rich, earthy mushrooms in a bolognese. All kinds of hearty goodness.

    As for the lettuce wrap as a food delivery item…the lettuce I buy doesn’t appear to be sturdy enough to hold yummy fixins. Why or why?
    Signed perplexed in Portland.

  19. Michelle says

    I looove your site & your recipes. I’ve made so many and my family and I are NEVER disappointed. Oh yeah, I also love mushrooms!!!!
    My brother is the real grower/composter of the family, so i would definitely give this to him and invite myself over to enjoy the bounty.
    Thanks for the chance.

  20. Sue Zabritski says

    That is the coolest kit. I would eat them, not give them away! Well, maybe I’d share a bite or two, but that’s it!

  21. Cindy says

    We are growing our own mushrooms as well – on logs. Should be yummy :). And yes, the list of ingredients did make me want to run.

  22. Lisa says

    I love mushrooms! I would cook some in butter and serve with egg’s for breakfast and put some in a simple stir fry.

  23. Sarah MacVicar says

    WOW! That is amazing! We’ve looked at growing mushrooms before but it all involved rotting logs and burrying…It was complicated. I would love to try this out!

  24. Janel says

    If I wont the mushroom kit, i would then start eating oyster mushrooms everyday! Oh and we already have a bunch of coffee grounds going to waste! Maybe I would then be inspired to start my own local mushroom colony and then sell mushrooms at the farmer’s market in my spare time…

  25. Meg Leblanc says

    mmmm Those mushrooms look AMAZING!! I’d totally make Gai Tom Ka (Hot and Sour Coconut Chicken Soup) with those. Mu mouth is watering just thinking about it.

  26. says

    I would use the harvested mushrooms in an as yet undetermined reciped for our Wednesday night Christian Cooking Class with the girls. How fun to grow something so beautiful and be able to share it with my besties.

  27. Lori Stilger says

    Oh, how AWESOME! I didn’t know anything like this kit existed!!! We LOVE mushrooms around here. And if I were to be blessed enough to win this one :D, I’d try your recipe, of course! 😀 THANK YOU for the chance to win!!!

  28. Andrea says

    I love, love, love, mushrooms! I’d love to make a chicken stirfry dish, or maybe beef with them! How cool!

  29. says

    ME ME ME! PICK MEEEEE!! I ADORE mushrooms. I love them especially sauteed in butter and ladled over a medium rare steak. MMMMMMMM. Crimini, shitake, oyster, any kind at all, bring them on!

  30. says

    The thought of growing my own mushrooms is pretty exciting. Who knew it would be so easy. I’ve been wanting to make a grilled onion and mushroom pizza… and these mushrooms would just be magical.

    Crossing my fingers and shouting out to the universe…. pick me!!

  31. says

    OOOOOOO…..we love mushrooms!! I’ve seen these kits all over. Nice to see that they really work.

    We would love this kit…well…because we are homeschoolers and we just love things like this. We would make a pizza with them. MMMMM!

  32. Amber says

    I think it’s so awesome that these grown with composted coffee grounds! And I would make a focaccia flat bread topped with fresh mushrooms, garlic, arugula and chile peppers!

  33. Lynda Clark says

    Actually, I would give this to my daughter and her husband as they are vegetarians and are crazy about mushrooms, all varieties. She always comes up with great recipes for mushrooms that I would never think about. If I give them to her, then I can be assured of getting an invite to one of her lovely vegetarian meals. Other than putting them in spaghetti sauce, my favorite ways to use mushrooms are to marinate them in a mushroom salad, to quickly saute them in butter with a splash or red wine or lemon juice or to use them in Japanes Udon soup. Thanks for this great and unique giveaway.


  34. says

    mmmm…. i would certainly NOT feed them to the chickens.
    but because i’m terribly clever, i would use them in this recipe.
    despite the list of ingredients that stretches from my house to your house.

  35. Karen D. says

    I would love a mushroom kit and I would have enough coffee grounds in about 1 day. My husband and I are espresso addicts. We bought a Krups while we were dating and it is still going strong – now 15 years later.

    Not sure what I would cook with the oyster mushrooms, but it would be so cool to grow them. My kids would love to watch them grow. I would have loads of fun experimenting with them in the kitchen.

  36. Chocolate Lady says

    The weather in Southern CA today called for a summertime meal. This reipe was at the top of the list to try, and I must say, these wraps were a major win! Even though we didn’t have the oyster mushrooms, these wraps were absolutely, delectably delicious! Thank you!

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