Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spicy Pork Bulgogi 韩式辣炒猪肉 돼지 불고기

As you can see, I am already back from Korea for quite some weeks, but am still (very!) much bitten by the Korean food bug. I have always enjoyed eating Korean food, and this trip brought my love for Korean food to a next level. I just had to cook it at home. Hubby gave compliments during the meal and commented that "I thought I am back in Korea leh!" 

My first time at preparing and cooking Korean style marinated meat. A wonderful experience and I am looking forward to cooking beef bulgogi, chicken bulgogi.... anything Korean food soon! 

With the few stuff I bought from our grocery shopping at Seoul Lotte Mart, Hubby can expect more Korean food. I have pre-empt him on that and he was game for it.

I love my wonderful and supportive hubby lor! :P

Thank you all for dropping by.


Spicy Pork Bulgogi  돼지 불고기
Recipe and notes from Crazy Korean Cooking

9 oz Sliced Pork (Belly or Neck)  (thinly sliced) – I used about 250g of twee bak because I wanted leaner meat
3 tbsp Hot Pepper Paste (Gochujang) (spiciness and saltiness may vary depending on the brand)
2¼ tsp Sugar
1 tsp Soy Sauce for Soup (Gukganjang)   (or regular soy sauce)
½ Onion (Medium)
1½ Green Onion (Spring onion as we call it)
1 tsp Garlic (minced)
1 tsp Ginger (minced) – I did not have ginger on hand, hence I left it out
A pinch of Black pepper
1 tsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Cheongju, Korean Rice Wine  (I used Japanese Sake cooking wine)
½ tsp Sesame Seeds  (optional)
2 Green Chili Pepper  (optional) – I did not use this
1½ tsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Gochugaru, Red Chili Flakes 고추가루(optional, add to make it super spicy) – I did not use this

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions 
Pork: You can use chicken or beef instead. Make sure to thinly slice the meat for the best result.
Sesame seeds: can be omitted.
Green chili peppers: Green chili peppers add a very nice spicy kick. Red chili peppers are ok too but they are usually less spicy. You can omit chili peppers if you want a mild version.
Sugar: can be replaced with honey.
Good to Know 
The amount of gochujang (red chili paste) and sugar can vary depending on your preference. If you use less gochujang, you may want to increase the amount of soy sauce or use salt to season.
For medium spiciness, reduce the amount of red chili paste to 4 tablespoons (for default serving size - 4 servings).
To make it extra spicy, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of gochugaru (red chili flakes) (for default serving size - 4 servings)

1.        Cut pork
If the pork is not sliced, slice as thinly (⅛”) as possible. If pork is slightly frozen, it’s easier to cut into thin slices. If the slices are too big, cut into roughly 3” squares. They don’t have to be square shaped as long as the area is about that size.

2.        Prepare vegetables
Peel and slice a medium onion (or ½ large onion). Wash and cut 3 green onions into 2 inches. Mince garlic and ginger. Wash and Slice 4 green chili peppers (optional).

3.        Make marinade
Mix 6 tablespoons of gochujang (red chili paste), 1½ tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of minced ginger, chopped green onions, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, sliced onions, chopped green chili peppers (optional), 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (optional) and 2 tablespoons of cheongju (korean rice wine) (optional). *For medium spiciness, add 4 tablespoon of gochujang instead of 6. To make it extra spicy, add 1-3 teaspoons of gochugaru (red chili flakes) on top of gochujang (red chili paste).

4.        Marinate meat
Place the meat in a large bowl. Separate the meat slices so they are not stuck together. Add the marinade. Using your hand (use plastic gloves to protect your hand from hot paste), mix everything thoroughly and work in the marinade for 3-5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (6 hours is ideal). If your meat is thicker than ⅛”, marinate overnight.

5.        Cook meat
Coat a frying pan with vegetable oil. Cook the marinated meat on high heat for 10-15 min or until the meat is fully cooked and the surface is nicely browned. *If the meat is thick, you must cook on medium heat so the meat is cooked through. Then, cook on high heat to brown the surface.

6.        Serve
Serve on a plate and sprinkle sesame seeds to garnish (optional). You can enjoy it with a bowl of rice or make “ssam” (wrapping a piece of meat with a dab of ssamjang (lettuce wrap sauce) in leafy lettuce).

I made some ssamjang sauce by mixing 1 tsp gochujang with 2 tsp doenjang (fermented soy bean paste). 
I personally feel that spicy pork bulgogi does not go too well with ssamjang as ssamjang tends to cover the spicy bulgogi taste with its strong bean sauce smell and taste.
Ssamjang goes better with beef bulgogi wraps :)

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