Sangchu Geotjeori, also known as Korean Lettuce Salad or Sweet and Sour Salad, is a simple leafy green salad typically served at Korean BBQ restaurants.
This quick and easy Korean Lettuce Salad recipe is prepared with affordable ingredients that are common in any Asian-food lovers pantry.
Restaurant-style Sweet and Sour Salad is often served as a crunchy and juicy side dish to Korean grilled meats like kalbi and samgyeopsal. Fresh vegetables are tossed in a flavourful sweet and sour salad dressing prepared with gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes.
Our homemade Korean Lettuce Salad is vegan and vegetarian friendly and features healthy ingredients like garlic, scallions, onions, soy sauce, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, gochugaru, honey, leaf lettuce, toasted sesame seeds, carrots and radish.
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What Is Gochugaru?
Gochugaru, also known as Korean red chili powder, is a chili powder or flakes commonly used in Korean cuisine. The name “gochugaru” derived from Korean gochu-garu, where gochu means “chili pepper” and garu means “powder”.
Gochugaru is the central flavour component to Sangchu Geotjeori Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing.
You can purchase Gochugaru online or at your local Korean/Asian supermarket.
Types of Korean Lettuce
Koreans love serving crispy lettuce at the dinner table.
A variety of leafy greens are served in Korean restaurants. They are famously served in the dish Ssasm (Korean Lettuce Wraps) but are also popular at barbecue restaurants serving bulgogi, kalbi and samgyeopsal.
Simple Korean Lettuce Salad is often served with spicy soups & stews and fatty barbecue as an acidic and juicy palate cleanser.
Popular lettuce varieties in Korea include Red Chicory, Sugarloaf Lettuce, Green Chicory, Ice Queen Lettuce, Green Lettuce, Green Mustard, Lacinato Kale and Red Veined Chicory.
To prepare our Sweet and Sour Salad feel free to use an assortment of your favourite lettuce varieties. Our favourite greens to use in this Korean Lettuce Salad recipe are Green Lettuce and Ice Queen Lettuce. Head lettuce and Romaine also work well.
Travel to Korea by Making Sweet and Sour Salad at Home
I love traveling through Asia.
As a professional food and travel writer I’ve eaten my way through India, Maldives, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
My first time eating Korean Lettuce Salad was almost immediately after getting off the plane in Seoul. I spent my first week in Korea attending intensive teacher training classes. Whenever we’d break for lunch they’d serve simple Sweet and Sour Salad with grilled meat, noodles and banchan.
Our authentic Korean Lettuce Salad recipe is a healthy side dish that is quick and easy to make. The simpleSangchu Geotjeori recipe features vegetarian ingredients like garlic, scallions, onions, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, gochugaru, honey, crunchy lettuce, toasted sesame seeds, carrots and radish.
After enjoying your first few bites, you’ll realize why a big bowl of Korean Lettuce Salad is a must-try when visiting South Korea!
Where To Eat Sangchu Geotjeori
Haven’t traveled to Korea before? It may be helpful to first sample authenticSangchu Geotjeori at a local restaurant to better understand how it is served. You’ll get an understanding of what vegetables to include, how spicy and sour to make your salad dressing and what other dishes to serve at the table.
In Toronto, popular Korean restaurants that may serve Sweet and Sour Salad include Doma, Korean Village Restaurant, Arisu, Charcoal and Salt, Koko Share Bar, The Owl of Minerva, Seoul Shakers, Té Restaurant, Barrio Coreano, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Tofu Village and Korea House.
My Family Loves Sweet and Sour Salad
It’s no secret that my dad is a picky eater so I was a little nervous about him finding commonplace menu items like raw fish, spicy soup and fatty samgyeopsal to be unappealing.
Thankfully my parents both fell in love with Korean Lettuce Salad! They ordered the dish many times during visits to Insadong and Dongdaemun. They love all sorts of healthy salads and particularly enjoyed how the sweet and sour salad dressing paired with smokey Korean barbecue meat.
Korean Lettuce Salad Cooking Tips
Our Sweet and Sour Salad recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time Korean cooks!
- The main flavour component in our sweet and sour salad dressing that can’t be missed is Gochugaru which you can buy online or at a Korean supermarket. It has a distinct flavour so do not substitute it for Chili Powder as they are not the same.
- You can use any variety of fresh salad greens in this recipe but we prefer crunchy and leafy greens like head lettuce, romaine lettuce and green lettuce.
- You can chop up the lettuce finely and serve the recipe as a slaw or tear the lettuce into pieces.
- We’ve used apple cider vinegar in the sweet and sour dressing but you could substitute for rice wine vinegar.
- We’ve added colour and crunch to the Korean Lettuce Salad by adding julienned carrots and thinly sliced radishes. You could also add sliced red bell pepper or thinly sliced cucumber.
Sangchu Geotjeori Health Benefits
Our homemade Korean Lettuce Salad recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
A useful source of copper, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, sesame seeds help support circulatory, digestive and skeletal health.
Pepper Flakes has been proven to help reduce the duration of sickness, prevent heart disease, and promote weight loss.
Lettuce is one of the most widely consumed vegetables worldwide, but its nutritional value has been underestimated. Lettuce is low in calories, fat and sodium. It is a good source of fibre, iron, folate, and vitamin C. Lettuce is also a good source of various other health-beneficial bioactive compounds.
An excellent source of vitamin A and the phytochemical beta-carotene, carrots help keep your eyes and bones healthy, and may help protect against several types of cancer.
Radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. Together, these nutrients help lower high blood pressure and reduce your risks for heart disease. The radish is also a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow.
What To Serve with Korean Lettuce Salad
There’s no better match made in Korean culinary heaven than sizzling barbecue paired with crunchySangchu Geotjeori.
If you’re hosting a large dinner party we suggest pairing Korean Lettuce Salad with Osaka Okonomayaki, Crispy Ginger Beef, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Gochujang Chicken Wings, Ssamjang Chicken, Buchimgae Buchu-Jeon Korean Chive Pancake, Spicy Gukbap Korean Rice & Beef Soup and Spicy Pork Bibimbap.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka, Blueberry Cream Cheese Earl Grey Ice Cream, Baileys Banoffee Cake, Swedish Rhubarb Cherry Pie or Skittles Sugar Cookies.
Best Korean Lettuce Sweet and Sour Salad Recipe
Korean Lettuce Sweet and Sour Salad
- French knife
- mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 Scallions chopped
- 1/4 cup Onion thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Korean Hot Pepper Flakes
- 2 tsp Honey
- 8 oz Leaf Lettuce washed, drainked and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1/4 cup Carrots julienned
- 1/4 cup Radishes thinly sliced
- Combine garlic, scallions, onion, soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, hot pepper flakes and honey in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a whisk.
- Add the lettuce and mix by hand to ensure the seasonings are fully incorporated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
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