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Annie Weisz with Peak to Plate



This is one of my favorite recipes from my childhood. I remember requesting it frequently and my mom making it on repeat. It was so much fun to make my own lettuce wraps and eat with my hands. Now it’s a family favorite in my house and my 4 year old loves to do the same thing!

Bulgogi translates to “fire meat” in Korean and is typically cooked over an open flame. The meat in this recipe isn’t prepared traditionally but it’s the way I’ve always eaten it and it is delicious! Plus, it’s super simple to make. If you get the meat marinating the night before, you can easily whip up the whole meal in 20 minutes on a weeknight. I also like to make a couple batches and freeze the marinated raw meat in freezer zippered bags. It’s so nice to have on hand for when you want a delicious dinner with very little prep work.

Bulgogi is traditionally made with beef but it works great with wild game as well. Follow a few simple rules for this recipe, and you’ll be good to go!

1. Slice the meat thin. Really thin. This is important for many reasons – it absorbs more flavor from the marinade, cooks quicker, and is more tender.

2. Make sure the meat has time to marinate really well (a minimum of 4 hours but overnight is better).

3. Add something spicy (Sriracha, sambal oelek, gochujang, etc.)

4. Don’t be afraid to eat with your hands!


Flavorful venison bulgogi with sticky rice packaged up in a crisp lettuce wrap.

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Marinating Time: 1 day


Bulgogi Meat

  • 1 ½ lb venison bottom round roast (or any other cut that you can slice thinly)
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic

Other Ingredients

  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 5 cups cooked sticky rice (short grain white rice)
  • Asian hot sauce (sambal oelek, gochujang, sriracha, etc.)


1. Cut meat into thin slices. The meat is much easier to cut if you don't thaw it fully. Place meat slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to let the paper towels soak up juices as the meat thaws the rest of the way. This helps remove off flavors that may be hiding in the meat.

2. Combine remaining bulgogi ingredients in a medium bowl. Add in sliced meat. Stir to combine. Marinate for at least a couple hours, preferably overnight. Stir the meat at least once to redistribute the marinade sometime during the marinating time.

3. Add meat to a large skillet on the stove. Heat over medium-high heat until mixture starts bubbling. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15-20 more minutes.

4. While meat is cooking, wash lettuce and prepare rice according to package directions.

5. To prepare lettuce wraps, add rice, meat with sauce, and a little hot sauce to a piece of lettuce. Wrap it up and enjoy! This recipe is meant for each person to dish up rice, meat and lettuce leaves and make their own lettuce wraps as they eat them.

    Freezing Instructions

    This recipe freezes very well if you make an extra batch or 2. After adding the sliced meat to the marinade, place it in a gallon-size zippered bag, squeeze out excess air and freeze flat on a sheet pan. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw under refrigeration and cook by following instructions above.

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