Spicy, saucy, pan-fried Korean barbecue tempeh is stuffed into warm tortillas with creamy avocado slices and crispy greens to make these flavorful wraps.
At some point when I was living in Philly, Korean barbecue became a really popular thing. Of course, I was never able to partake, because at the time none of those places offered Korean barbecue veggies. I would just listen to people rave about how awesome the food was, how delicious and satisfying, and how they had to roll out the door because they ate so much. I’m not going to lie: on one hand, I was a little grossed out by the concept of stuffing oneself with that much meat, but on the other hand I was kind of jealous because boy did they seem to enjoy it.
So here I am with some vegan Korean barbecue of highly questionable authenticity. It blends the flavors of Korean food and barbecue food, which are the top two most delicious things on earth. No wonder everyone was so obsessed! I’ll confess to knowing very little about how Korean barbecue is eaten. Does one use chopsticks? Or perhaps dig in with their hands like in the states? I don’t know, so I threw it into a wrap, and I loved it!
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Korean Barbecue Tempeh Wraps
For the Korean Barbecue Sauce:
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. gochujang
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
For the Tempeh Filling:
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2-8 oz. packages tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
- 1 red onion sliced into strips
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1-2 tsp. sesame seeds
For the Wraps:
- 4 large flour tortillas
- 4 large lettuce leaves, or a few handfuls of sprouts
- a few forkfuls of vegan kimchi, optional but awesome, read the label to ensure it's vegan
- 1 avocado sliced
Stir all sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and allow to simmer about 10 minutes, adding a bit of water if sauce becomes too thick.
While sauce simmers, coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook about 5 minutes, until pieces are browned on bottoms. Flip and cook 5 minutes more. Raise heat to high and add bell pepper and onion. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium again and pour sauce into skillet. Cook just until sauce is very thick and coats tempeh and veggies. Remove from heat and stir in scallions and sesame seeds.
Place a tortilla onto a work surface. Arrange a lettuce leaf or handful of sprouts on top. Top with avocado slices, kimchi if using, and then tempeh mixture. Fold the end of the tortilla closest to you over fillings, then wrap the sides inward. Roll the wrap away from you to enclose fillings. Repeat until all tortillas and fillings are used.