Korean markets can be really intimidating. Even as someone who speaks and reads sub-par (sub-sub-par) Korean feels extremely overwhelmed. There are loud Koreans everywhere, produce that doesn’t look Earth like, and no one is in much of a hurry to help you find the ingredient you need to follow a recipe. Oh yeah, and everything is in a different language.
BUT then, you see this
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Whoever labeled this HAD to have been having a good laugh. That or they don’t speak English and didn’t notice that this is a really unappealing way to describe meat.
Unfortunately, this was exactly what I was looking for. One of my favorite dishes growing up was spicy pork bulgogi. This is a Korean dish that is becoming really popular at Korean barbeque places around the nation. It is deeply red, seasoned strongly, and has a nice kick that makes you forget you are eating pork shoulder butt chunk.
I modified a couple fairly authentic recipes I found online to omit refined sugars and I am so so so pleased with the results. I have no idea why it needed sugar in the original recipe. To make this dish more of a meal, I paired it with kimchee jiggae (stew), steamed eggs, and cauliflower rice and green leaf lettuce. A classic way to eat delicious Korean meats is to wrap it in green leaf lettuce with a little rice and seasoned bean paste. Adds a fresh and filling quality to the pork. If you had told me a year ago I would be more than thrilled to replace white rice with cauliflower, I would have called you crazy and shoved more white rice in my face in defiance. Now, things like this happen…
That was the doing of my sister. I asked her to bring over some riced cauliflower for dinner and so she went to Trader Joes in the morning when they get their new shipment and made sure we would not run out for a very long time…
If you have ever tried Korean bbq, I know you will want to look up your local Korean market to try these recipes. I have always ADORED the steamed egg that they serve at Korean restaurants and thought it would be really difficult to replicate. No way. Easy and more delicious and silky at home. Now I am convinced they way overcook it at restaurants.
My mommy is pretty proud of me for adding Korean cooking to my skills. I think she thinks this means I can take over a little and let her sit back and drink wine on Sundays while I cook. HAHA, not a chance…
Korean Spicy Pork
- *2 lbs thinly sliced pork shoulder (also called pork butt) OR you can use pork belly for this (your local Korean market will have the appropriate cut of meat)
- 1/2 cup Korean chili pepper paste (gochujahng 고추장)
- 4 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons ginger
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (gochugahloo 고추가)
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon crushed toasted sesame seeds
- 2 onions, thinly sliced (next time I personally would like 3 onions)
- 6 scallions or green onions, chopped
*It helps to freeze your pork for half an hour before slicing
- In a large bowl, stir together the chili paste, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, toasted sesame oil, honey, and sesame seeds.
- Add the thinly sliced pork and stir well, making sure every piece of meat is nicely marinated.
- Add the onions and chopped to the meat and stir.
- Marinate overnight for best results, minimum four hours.
- Using a cast iron skillet or large frying pan, sear the pork in two batches. Since you can’t tell by the color if the pork is cooked all the way through, it is important to not overcrowd the pan and to make sure the temperature is at least 145 degrees. ***FYI: Koreans don’t use thermometers, we just taste the meat to make sure it is cooked through. Our tongues know by texture. Don’t try this unless you are Korean.
Serve with cauliflower rice/brown rice/white rice and if you like it, a little seasoned bean curd paste. Wrapping it in the lettuce is known as “ssam”. Basically, we Koreans invented lettuce wrapping way before white people did.
I like how it is so beautiful when it is raw.
This steamed egg dish is just perfect. If you like eggs at all, this dish is the perfect side dish for every Asian meal. It is really easy and just promise me you will try it!!!
Steamed Silky Smooth Eggs
(one recipe per person/ramekin, feel free to double or triple as needed. I sextupled it last night 😉
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Chopped green onions/scallion and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- 5 oz ramekin
- Whisk together eggs, water, and salt well.
- Place your ramekin into a pan with high sides on the stove. Add water to the pan until it is 2/3 of the way high on the ramekin.
- Pour eggs into the ramekin. Cover the pan with a lid and let the water simmer. In about six minutes, check your eggs. Once the top has set a bit, sprinkle some green onions and sesame seeds on top. Replace the lid. (Sorry I forgot to take pictures during the cooking process. This is basically a water bath for your eggs)
- Let cook for about 1-2 more minutes. It should be set and jiggle when moved. Carefully remove the ramekin from the hot water (I use my mason jar tongs!)
Oh boy, I am tired now. I stop now.
I will post my kimchee jiggae recipe once I perfect it. It is not quite there yet. It tastes somewhat Americanized…