Sangchu Geotjeori (Korean Lettuce Salad) is the easiest and tastiest side dish for your grilled meat! Savory, sweet, little spicy! Toss together in just 10 minutes.
I have to admit salad is not my favorite food. I like vegetables, but mostly cooked ones, like steamed bak choi, sautéed green beans, and stir-fry snow peas. Growing up, I don’t recall ever eating salad. The only salad that my mom made is a fruit salad. Mango, apple, orange with miracle whip. Hahaha! Yup, it is weird, but I love it! But yes, that is all the “salad” I have eaten for 16 years. After coming to the States, I have realized that salad is a common thing here. It is on almost every menu. I have eaten many of them, but still not the list of my favorite things.
Even though I don’t like salad much, this Korean lettuce salad is an exception. I first tried sangchu geotjeori in a Korean BBQ restaurant. Each table gets a big bowl of salad. The salad is supposed to be eaten with the meat. I tried that and I fell in love with the flavors. It is refreshing and it goes perfectly with all the grilled bulgogi (marinated beef) and galbi (Korean short ribs). I really enjoy this salad and always ask for a refill in restaurants.
To make this salad, you need one special ingredient, gochugaru. It is coarsely ground Korean chili flakes. Little spicy, sweet and smokey. It added great flavors to the salad. Since I don’t eat too spicy, I used about 1/2 teaspoon only. Feel free to add more for your likeness. You can find gochugaru in Korean supermarkets or online.
The salad dressing can be easily put together. Soy sauce, sugar, garlic, apple cider, sesame oil and gochugaru. Whisk and pour over the red lettuce. It tastes a bit spicy, savory, and sweet with a little acidity. Serve with grilled marinated galbi (Korean short ribs) or any kind of grilled meat. The salad cleanses the palate and bring in the very needed freshness to a hearty meal. Nothing fancy but so delicious!
Sangchu Geotjeori (Korean Lettuce Salad)
- 1 red or green leaf lettuce
- ¼ medium onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 green onion (thinly sliced)
- toasted sesame seeds
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- ½ teaspoon Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
- For the lettuce, wash, drain and dry. Cut into 1-inch thick strips. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Toss in onion and green onion.
- In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk until sugar has dissolved.
- When ready to serve, pour half of the dressing over. Toss and adjust with more dressing if needed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
- If you like spicy food, add more gochugaru.
- Gochugaru can be bought from Korean supermarket or from Amazon. There are different spicy levels. For hot and spicy, look for “maewoon gochugaru”. For milder one, look for “deolmaewoon gochugaru”. For more tips about picking gochugaru, read here.
- Gochugaru can be stored in the freezer to keep fresh for a long time.