I met Teresa at a Korean cooking demonstration organized by KAPWASV (Korean/American Professional Woman’s Association in Silicon Valley). She’s from Hong Kong and loves Korean food. She pulled me aside and asked if I had a recipe for spicy Korean pork barbecue. She said that she wants to make a big batch of it and keep it in a freezer. I was quite impressed with her idea because that is exactly what many Koreans, including me, do with this dish.
The dish is everyday food in Korea because it is very easy to make and pork is a lot cheaper than beef. I usually marinate the pork meat and then divide it into 2 portions, each in separate zipper bags. When there is nothing else to eat or my schedule gets too busy to cook, I pull it out of the freezer. All you need with this pork barbecue is steamed rice and some lettuce leaves to wrap the meat and rice in.
If you go to the meat section of a Korean market, you will find pre-packaged pork butt already sliced with a label saying “Pork Bulgogi.” If not, you can buy a chunk of pork butt and slice it as thin as possible at home. Freeze the meat slightly first. Frozen meat is easier to slice thin.
Pork butt: 1 Lb
Yellow Onion: 1/2
Green Onions: 5
For first marinade:
Sugar: 1 Tbsp
Mirin or White wine: 1 Tbsp
Ground Black Pepper: 1/2 tsp
For second marinade:
Red pepper paste (gochu-jang): 1 1/2 Tbsp
Soybean paste (doen-jang): 1 tsp
Soy sauce: 4 Tbsp
Mirin, white wine, or Soju: 4 Tbsp
Minced Garlic: 1 Tbsp
Minced Ginger: 1 tsp
Ground black pepper: 1/2 tsp
Ground Yellow Onion: 2 Tbsp
If you bought a chunk of pork butt, freeze it about half way and slice it 1/16 inch thin. In a bowl, combine pork and first marinade ingredients. Marinate it for about 10 minutes.
Grind onion and mix second marinade ingredients in a bowl. The second marinade should look very red…yummy! Cut the green onions in about 2 inch length. Slice the onion in about 1/4 inch wide wedges. Add the green onion and yellow onion to the pork. Add the second marinade mixture (the red one) to the pork and mix well. Cover it with plastic and marinate in a refregirator for 3-4 hours.
When the grill is hot, spread marinated meat over grill surface. Don’t flip the meat over too often. When the meat looks 2/3 cooked, flip it over only once. If you don’t have a grill, you can also saute the pork in a frying pan with a bit of oil.
You can eat this dish like other Korean side dishes or wrap it with lettuce. (Tip: Depending on how much sweetness you want, adjust the amount of sugar or corn syrup.)