Gochujang-Glazed Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber Salad

A spicy fermented Korean chili paste glaze gives these lean turkey meatballs a sweet heat and depth of flavor that’s harmoniously offset with a quick cucumber salad, crisp romaine lettuce, and toasted sesame seeds for a powerfully delicious and healthy weeknight dinner.


For the turkey meatballs:

  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sliced ginger
  • 1 pound ground turkey  
  • 3 scallions, sliced very thin, divided (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

For the gochujang glaze:

  • 1/4 cup gochujang paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the cucumber salad:

  • 3 mini-cucumbers, sliced very thin
  • 3 large red radishes, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

To serve:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 ounces romaine lettuce leaves


Step 1

Pre-heat oven to 525°F.

Step 2

Combine the carrot, cabbage, garlic, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Step 3

In a large mixing bowl combine the minced carrot and cabbage mixture with the remaining meatball ingredients turkey and mix well. Form into the size of golf balls and place on lined baking sheet (should make roughly 14 meatballs).

Step 4

In a separate bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the gochujang glaze.

Step 5

Bake meatballs for 6 to 8 minutes, then glaze liberally with gochujang glaze and bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes. Glaze again and bake for an additional 4 to 6 minutes and remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Instant-read thermometer should register internal temperature of meatballs at 165°F.

Step 6

Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the cucumber salad in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Step 7

To serve, place 2 to 3 meatballs on two layers of romaine lettuce and top with cucumber salad, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions. Serve immediately.