Garam Masala Grilled Salmon with Avocado, Tomato and Cuke Salsa

Salmon can be cooked in so many ways and grilling is one of the methods you can use. Our temps were in the 90’s when I made this dish making fish an ideal dinner for hot weather. Salmon is a healthy alternative to high protein meat such as beef and pork and can have very few calories like this recipe. It’s a complete meal with a fresh avocado/tomato salsa and naan bread on the side.

This recipe is adapted from the Food Network Magazine.

I love garam masala which  is a combination of many different spices depending on the cook’s preference. I have used it in a few dishes but decided to make my own and chose the spice mixture from Serious Eats, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s recipe. See recipe below…

There are so many versions of this wonderful spice mixture and all I can say is do your research and look at the ingredients if you buy it at the store or be creative and make your own. I feel the more spices the merrier when it comes to garam masala and that is why I chose J. Kenji’s recipe. You will not be disappointed and will find other uses for it.

The many spices of Garam Masala, toasting the seeds and cinnamon and the finished powdered form…


Garam Masala Grilled Salmon with an Avocado, Tomato and Cuke Salsa

  • salmon fillets, skin on (center cut or the tail like I used)
  • garam masala (rub on to your taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil to brush on lemon halves, naan bread pieces and your grill
  • 3 lemons halved
  • naan bread
  • 2 large tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 sweet onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and a few twists of fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 avocado, diced

You can combine the  cucumber and  onion ahead of time but wait to add the rest of the salsa ingredients. This salsa does not keep well and you want to assemble it right before serving.

Preheat your grill to medium high. Lightly brush the grates with oil. Brush oil on the lemon halves and both sides of the naan bread. Rub the flesh side of the salmon with the garam masala and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the salmon flesh side down  (if using fillets). With the tail part I did not turn it and let it cook probably around 10 minutes or so. If you are using the center cuts of the salmon you will need to turn.  The time will vary on the thickness of the salmon and also the heat of your grill. At the same time grill the lemon halves until nicely charred and the naan bread until toasted.

Add the tomatoes, avocado, ginger, 1/2 tsp. salt and a few twists of fresh black pepper to the cucumber and onions. Squeeze 2 grilled lemon halves over all and gently toss.  Garnish the salmon with a  grilled lemon half and a couple wedges of naan bread.

Garam Masala – J. Kenji Lopez-Alt:

  • 8 green cardamom pods, husks removed
  • 2 tbsp. whole coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp. whole cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1 (3-inch) stick of cinnamon
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg from a whole nutmeg

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, tossing frequently, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Cool and transfer to a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Add the ground nutmeg and grind again.

This mixture will keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.…o-and-cuke-salsa/ 

The first two pictures were taken inside…

The rest of the following pictures were taken outside around 6:30 pm.

Linking to Fiesta Friday.

Shrimp with a Garlic Chili Tomato Sauce

Shrimp is the perfect dish to serve when the weather is hot and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen too much because it doesn’t need a lot of cooking time.  I can’t always grill outside so this dish is ideal for serving during hot and cold weather alike.

This is a tomato-based shrimp recipe which gets its kick from the chili garlic sauce that can be added to your taste.

I have over 25 recipes using shrimp; many are stir-fries, some appetizers, some salads and one Indian recipe. I like to bake, roast or grill these tender shrimps and could easily eat them every week 🙂

This recipe comes from which I have adapted.

Shrimp With A Garlic Chili Tomato Sauce, Adapted

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • fresh parsley, minced to taste
  • fresh oregano, minced to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (serve the other half, cut into wedges, on the side)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic chili sauce or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (I added the rest of the 15 oz. can and added more garlic chili sauce)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound shrimp (I used extra-large, or 21-25 size)
  • 1/2 lb. pasta, angel hair cooks really quick (or you could use rice)

Combine the first 10 ingredients in a small bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the sauce and pour over shrimp; marinate for an hour or more – I did for 2 hours. Save the remaining 1 cup sauce to use later.

Cook the pasta according to directions; drain and set aside.

Heat a skillet and add the shrimp; saute for a few minutes. As they are just starting to curl add the reserved sauce. The cooking time will depend on the size of the shrimp. Stir to combine for an additional 5-8 minutes; do not overcook! Remove from the heat, add the pasta and toss. Adjust the seasonings and garnish with fresh parsley, chopped and a squeeze or two of fresh lemon.

You can grill the shrimp but since I was making the pasta anyways I just cooked it inside.…ili-tomato-sauce/ 

Size of shrimp chart:

  • small  – 51-60
  • medium  – 41-50
  • medium-large – 31-40
  • large  – 26-30
  • extra-large  – 21-25
  • jumbo  -16-20

Marinating the shrimp for about 2 hours and cooking just a few minutes in a cast iron skillet.

There was a little too much oil for my taste (see left picture) so I will reduce the amount to 1/4 cup next time I make it.  This is why I added 7 more ounces of tomato sauce to help absorb the excess oil and I probably cooked more than 8 oz. of pasta!

Caprese Salad and Fruit Skewers With a Basil Vinaigrette

With temps in the 90’s all week simple, non-cooking recipes are part of my meals alongside something grilled. These skewers filled with fresh fruit, mozzarella balls, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and drizzled with a basil vinaigrette  are the perfect answer to a light and refreshing side. They are also a great choice for appetizers on an antipasto tray.

We have had a lot of hot weather (90’s) so far this summer and my basil just wants to grow and grow. That also means it wants to flower as well. So, I have my hands full keeping  up with my 4 basil plants and I need lots of great ways to use it. My basil may want to flower (end of the plant) but my grape tomatoes are loving this hot weather.


The possibilities are endless with ways to use this fresh herb vinaigrette. Try it on bruschetta, grilled salmon, pasta dishes or any recipe where basil would shine!

Thanks to Gaby Dalkin for this wonderful basil vinaigrette…

Caprese Salad and Fruit Skewers With a Basil Vinaigrette, Adapted

  • basil vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • cantaloupe, scooped into balls
  • seedless watermelon (if possible), scooped into balls
  • small mozzarella balls, drained
  • prosciutto, trimmed of fat and each slice cut into thirds and folded up
  • fresh basil leaves
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Maldon sea salt and fresh black pepper to garnish (optional and to taste)
  • 6″ wooden skewers

After I made the balls of watermelon and cantaloupe I let them drain on scott towels as they were very juicy.

Thread a folded basil leaf, mozzarella ball, watermelon, prosciutto (folded up), cantaloupe and another basil leaf to end. Arrange on a platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over the skewers. Garnish with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Basil Vinaigrette:

  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups basil (packed)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (I prefer 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Puree in a blender until you can get it as smooth as possible. If it’s too thick add more oil. Drizzle over the prepared skewers. It’s delicious with the fruit and as a “salad”. This makes a lot of vinaigrette and you certainly can cut the recipe in half especially since it doesn’t last very long (only 3 days in the refrigerator)

To make the caprese skewers just pierce the underside of a large basil leaf with a skewer, thread a mozzarella ball and cherry tomato and bring the skewer back up and pierce the top of each leaf.…asil-vinaigrette/ 

Linking to Angie @ Fiesta Friday #231 and the two co-hosts Antonia @ and Laurena @ Life Diet Health

Fresh Fruit with a Citrus Dressing

Summer is my favorite time of the year to enjoy so many different fresh fruits. I’ve been enjoying Michigan strawberries and fruits such as melons and blueberries are also very sweet and perfect as a light dessert with maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The citrus dressing is just heavenly and perfect with the fruit I used as it coated each piece with a hint of citrusy goodness. This is a favorite and a dressing I will use often!

Fresh Fruit with a Citrus Dressing

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (add to taste)
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 oranges (you need 2/3 cup juice plus some zest to taste)
  • 1-2 lemons (you need 1/3 cup juice plus some zest to taste)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • assorted fresh fruits
  • small mint leaves to garnish

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and juice from the oranges and lemon(s). Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens and becomes bubbly; cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and add the zest and vanilla. Allow to cool, place in a small bowl and refrigerate for an hour.

Prepare the fresh fruit you have chosen and place in a medium to large bowl. Pour just enough dressing over the fruit to coat and toss gently. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Garnish with mint leaves before serving. 

The citrus dressing is thick like syrup and you want to coat the fruit gently and toss. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

You also might try Ina’s Fruit Salad With Limoncello where Greek yogurt and lemon curd are two prominent ingredients.

Or Fruit Salad with a Cranberry Juice and Honey Dressing

Nachos on the Grill Using Homemade Taco Seasoning

Nachos are a favorite snack (actually I sometimes eat them as a meal) when I feel like something crispy, cheesy and spicy. So easy to make with the toppings your family enjoys. I’ve frequently made these in the oven but with grilling season here I can get the same results and not heat up the kitchen.

Nachos can be made without meat and using any veggies or cheese you would like. I have used a fellow blogger’s homemade taco seasoning mix instead of a commercial blend. Julie has a very informative and fun blog Hostess At Heart, where you will find many recipes you will want to make. Take time to check her site out!

Nachos on the Grill Using Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • red onions, diced (to taste)
  • 1 (1 oz.) packet taco seasoning or make Julie’s homemade taco seasoning mix below
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes or with chilies, drained
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can green chilies, drained
  • other veggies to your taste
  • cheese of your choice, shredded (this time I used Monterey Jack with Jalapenos)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • chives, green onions or more red onions and jalapenos to garnish (I used my first jalapeno pepper of the season)
  • tortilla chips

Preheat your grill for 15 minutes while you cook the ground beef and onions, drain. Stir in the tomatoes and green chilies and set aside. If you’re using fresh chilies cook with the beef and onion mixture. This can be made ahead of time and brought to room temperature before grilling.

I used a foil pan, placed a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom and layered my nachos with the chips, beef mixture and then shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil and cut a hole in the middle. This way the nachos will heat up, melt the cheese and the chips won’t be soggy.

Close the cover and grill for about 15 minutes. Slide the parchment paper full of nachos onto a plate and garnish with toppings of your choice. I was able to make (2) 10×13-inch pans with this recipe.

Best part is there are no dishes – the foil pans are reusable if you first line them with parchment paper. Be careful to tuck the parchment inside the foil as you don’t want it to burn!!!

Julie’s Taco Seasoning:

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican dried oregano or just use regular
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (this spice can vary in flavor and heat so use one that you like)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Combine above ingredients and use 1 to 3 tsp. per 1 pound of meat, basically to taste. 

Shrimp Crepes With a Limoncello Butter-Cream Sauce

I love my “shrimps” and I often come up with new ways to serve them. These crepes paired beautifully with a limoncello butter sauce that I previously used with a fresh salmon fillet. The filling in the crepes has some of this delicious liqueur as well. Limoncello is so versatile that  I’ve added it to a vinaigrette, fruit salad (Ina’s), and a cheesecake (Ina’s). Plus, you can always drink it as an aperitif!

Did you see Under the Tuscan Sun, a great movie  with Diane Lang? Positano, Italy  was featured as one of the premier lemon growing areas which make this delightful liqueur. What a lovely vacation Gene and I had there!!!

There are 3 ways you can serve these; with crepes, raviolis or wontons. I love them all but chose crepes.

Shrimp Crepes With a Limoncello Butter-Cream Sauce


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk or use water for not so rich crepes (I did use 2% milk)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter (optional for richer crepes)

Combine the above ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Make the crepes using a little less than 1/4 cup in an 8-inch skillet. Lightly oil the skillet and when hot add the batter and twirl it around the pan to make a crepe. A few seconds later loosen the crepe and turn carefully and cook only briefly; remove.

Makes 12 crepes

Seafood Filling:

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. medium shrimp, cooked and chopped into small pieces (this is the weight of the meat) – you can buy fresh or frozen already cooked
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (I used 2% but whole or even half and half can be used)
  • 1 tsp. limoncello
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup whole milk fresh ricotta
  • 2 tbsp. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tsp. parsley, minced
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • twist or two of fresh nutmeg using your nutmeg grinder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

Precook the shrimp  and cut into small pieces (you could also substitute with some lobster meat) .

Add the butter to a large skillet and saute the garlic and shallot. After a minute or two add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk (I used 2% but you can use whole or even 1/2 and 1/2), stir until thickened. Stir in the limoncello, lemon zest, ricotta and mascarpone until the cheese melts. Then add the shrimp, parsley, cayenne, nutmeg and salt; toss and adjust seasonings.  Allow the mixture to cool before adding to the crepes; the sauce will thicken.

Add 2-3 tbsp. mixture to each crepe and roll up and place in a buttered serving dish. I added extra shrimp filling to the tops of 6 crepes. The rest I saved for the Limoncello Sauce.

Heat uncovered  in a preheated 350° oven for about 15 minutes until heated through.

Butter/Cream Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp. Limoncello
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (or more) heavy cream to thicken
  • fresh parsley and chives, minced to garnish

Simmer the liqueur and lemon juice. Whisk in the butter a tbsp. at a time to combine. Add about 1/4 cup (or more) heavy cream to thicken the sauce. I feel the sauce does not need to be seasoned. Allow to cool a little as it will thicken.…-lobster-ravioli/ 


I had been thinking about making a shrimp ravioli to go with this creamy Limoncello sauce and then I spotted these beautiful pastas at Trader Joe’s. Aren’t these the prettiest raviolis you have ever seen? Since I knew I could never make such a beautiful pasta as this I decided to make crepes instead. 

Some of the ingredients in Trader’s Joe’s lobster ravioli included lobster meat, ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

Linking to Fiesta Friday


Cooking Tidbits – Watermelons

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits. It is synonymous with summer and family barbecues. It’s not only delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day but there are numerous health benefits.

The seedless varieties  with deep red fruit have more of the antioxidant lycopene. There is also a big difference in taste too. I quit buying whole watermelons because I want to see how red they are, light colored fruit does not taste that good if you know what I mean. So, I always buy a half or a quarter so I can see the color!


One cup of watermelon contains 43 calories, 0 fat, 2 mg of sodium, 11 grams of carbs (9 grams of sugar), 1 gram of fiber plus many vitamins and other beneficial elements. Because it is 92 percent water it is good for hydration (that’s why we find it so satisfying to eat when the temps soar). This fruit can help the heart, aid digestion, inflammation; and these are just a few of its benefits.

Watermelon is a rich source of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Vitamin A is fat soluble so it needs to be consumed with some fat to help the body absorb it. When I read this and discovered I should add cheese (or some other kind of fat) to this fruit, watermelon became even more appealing. Yes, I can add some crumbled feta or goat cheese to this afternoon snack, making it even more tasty! Maybe add a few toasted and chopped walnuts too!

One thing for sure I will be eating more watermelon this summer especially when the flesh is a deep red!


Recipes you might like:

Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad With Pistachios and Lemon Verbena Dressing

Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Fruit Bowl

Salt Blocks for Serving, Cooking and a Few Recipes

Watermelon Cookies

Of course there are many other ways to use watermelons such as popsicles, smoothies or lemonade. Some people make watermelon pickles with the rind (never tried to make). You can see this fruit is very versatile and the possibilities are endless…

This old picture was taken a number of years ago during my “baby watermelon growing days”. I love the saying at the bottom of this picture frame by Mark Twain “When One Has Tasted Watermelon He Knows What The Angels Eat”.

Radish and Cucumber Salad with Basil

This salad just says Spring. Cucumbers and radishes are a popular twosome that only requires some fresh herbs and a light dressing. I like to use English cukes and then vary the radishes when I can find them. I have discovered that it is better to grow your own radishes to get the many varieties that stores do not sell.

There are many recipes to choose from and even other veggies are a possibility such as shallots, red peppers and jalapenos will add a nice kick. The dressing is the big decision as you can make a citrus version like the recipe I’ve posted or a salad using a salt block  or with some heat such as Thai Cucumber Sambal 

Did you know that radishes are good companion plants with other veggies – they help keep the bugs away even the dreaded cucumber beetle!

Radish and Cucumber Salad with Basil

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use your best when making a dressing for a salad)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced (cut in half if they are big)
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced (thyme would be a good choice with this citrus dressing)
  • garnish of fresh basil leaves and ground black pepper

In a bowl whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and salt. Fold in the radishes, cucumber and shallot. Refrigerate for no longer than an hour as it does not keep well.  Just before serving stir in the basil. Garnish with additional basil and ground black pepper.…salad-with-basil/ 


This is a perfect side for Grilled Chicken with Traverse City Cherry Barbecue Sauce


Look who surprised me while I harvested my lettuce in one of my garden containers. As I started to cut this lettuce out he popped – some kind of a tree frog perhaps? He also looks like he’s shedding his skin!

June 6th – I think my little guest is a Cope’s Gray Tree Fog. They have a solid lime green colored back and he definitely does. Very common all over the state of Michigan!

I immediately went to the other side of this long container and harvested the rest of the lettuce. By the time I finished he was back in the pot and “peeking at me” as if to say “please let me stay”. Of course I said “yes”  🙂 See his sweet little eyes in the middle of the picture, peeking at me?

Wouldn’t you love a salad with all this beautiful lettuce?

Gardening can be fun even if you have a small balcony/patio and only have a container garden. I posted some new pictures in My 2018 Michigan Container Garden. My dill plant had a butterfly visit not too long ago and now the eggs have hatched and I have about (8) 3/8-inch caterpillars. Of course I am going to leave them alone to munch on my dill… I got a great picture but I have to admit they are kind of ugly at this stage 🙂

My garden adventures have changed over the years from a small garden in my first condo; then a huge 40×120′ garden and also a pumpkin and corn patch; then to 1 acre of all kinds of flowers, some veggies, herbs and edible flowers and finally to my current condo where I have a roomy container garden on my deck. It is only June 1st but I am enjoying all my visitors and reaping the benefits even in a small garden.

Bulgogi Wraps (Korean Beef Stir-Fry)

You don’t think of a stir-fry as the perfect meal for a hot Spring day. Yes, it has been in the 90’s this week which is very unusual for Michigan in late May. We usually don’t get that kind of weather until July!

The only cooking is the brief stir-fry of thinly sliced beef over very high heat. A marinade coats the meat, the Korean BBQ sauce is made ahead of time (no cooking), you use fresh crispy vegetables such as cucumbers, radishes, jalapenos, green onions and carrot shreds, and all wrapped in a buttery lettuce leaf. Very refreshing and full of lots of great flavor.

Bulgogi is thin, marinated slices of beef or pork grilled or cooked stove-top. I have chosen to use my wok and stir-fry it that way. A good cut of meat is important such as sirloin, rib eye or brisket. Garlic cloves, sliced onions and chopped green peppers are sometimes grilled with it. Bulgogi can be served in a wrap along with Ssamjang which is how I made it.

Awhile back I mentioned the three “jang” pastes in Korean cuisine. I’ve been using gochujang often but recently found a recipe with both doenjang and gochujang as ingredients in a BBQ sauce. Then I loved the idea of making this Korean version of beef stir-fry into lettuce wraps. I first saw this idea/recipe in Melissa Clark’s cookbook “Dinner: Changing the Game”.

Some times I change a recipe quite a bit and this is one of them. I have not indicated those changes but you can find Melissa’s original recipe in her cookbook or online.

The Food Network proclaimed gochujang a new trend in 2018 and compared it to Sriracha. A recent email from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street (his latest magazine) states “This Korean chili paste changed our cooking.  Move over Japanese Miso and make room for gochujang“. By the way the heat in gochujang comes from the chili flakes or gochugaru.

I am continuing to enjoy these Korean pastes in  meatballs, potatoes, baby back ribs and now this beef stir fry or Bulgogi.

Korean-Style Stir-Fried Beef, Adapted

Beef Marinade:

  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 1-inch-thick slice fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 1/8-inch slices (freeze for 1-2 hours for easier slicing) – next time I will marinate the beef in one piece and try grilling it
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • sometimes an Asian or Bosc pear, chopped is added to the ingredients which I think is a great idea but I did not add this time

Combine the garlic, onion (add slowly to get the right thickness), ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and black pepper in a blender and blend. Place the beef in a shallow container and spread the mixture on both sides of the beef. I adjusted the seasonings to have more of a creamy sauce instead of a paste. Stir in the scallions and sesame seeds.

Cover and refrigerate overnight if possible.

Ssamjang – Korean Barbecue Sauce: Double the recipe!

  • 1/4 cup doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves,  minced
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. water (add more if needed to get the right consistency)
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. gochujang (Korean red chile paste) to taste

Combine all of the ingredients. Adjust the ingredients to get the consistency and heat you want.

To Cook:

You need to stir-fry/cook the meat on a high sear but only for a few minutes per side as it can become tough. My Breville wok actually has a “high sear” setting which I used. If the meat becomes too tough be sure to cut it into smaller pieces for easier eating. According to Korean tradition you are supposed to eat each wrap in one bite – my wraps were bigger and required 4 bites! Of course you can use smaller leaves.

Should I decide to grill the meat (it is summer after all)  I would leave the meat in one piece instead of slices and marinate overnight. Then I would grill it briefly on both sides, allow to rest and cut into smaller pieces.


  • carrots, grated
  • sliced green or red jalapeno peppers
  • green onions, white and light green parts chopped
  • cucumbers, sliced thin
  • fresh herbs such as mint, basil or parsley
  • rice (optional)
  • Bibb lettuce is what I prefer but you can use romaine, red or green leaf lettuce

Serve the beef on a platter with the lettuce, fresh veggies and herbs and the sauce on the side. Guests can make their own wraps and add the garnishes of their choice. Dribble a little of the Ssamjang over each wrap mixture  before rolling up.

To serve over rice add a little beef broth to the beef mixture after stir-frying and adjust seasonings to taste such as soy sauce and maybe a tsp. or two of gochujang. 


I served some leftovers with rice. I just added some beef broth to the meat mixture and adjusted the seasonings (like a little more soy sauce and added 1 tsp. gochujang). It was quite good and a perfect meal for another hot Spring evening.