I have to credit a good friend of mine for turning me onto Korean food. He introduced me to the cuisine and specifically the miracle that is gouchujang. Thanks Mike!
This recipe is a bit of spin on the standard Bulgogi, using pork shoulder as well as incorporating black bean sauce in addition to Gochujang in the marinade. At first, the long nature of the recipe makes this seem laborious but by prepping your mise en place, the actual cooking happens pretty quickly. Plus, the end result is well worth the effort.
The fixins' or banchan really make this dish. Pack up whatever is leftover and bring it for lunch the next day. I love to eat everything cold, wrapped up in lettuce leaves. —Tony S
4-6 for dinner plus leftovers
Pork Steak Bulgogi
head of garlic peeled
inch piece of ginger peeled and coarsely chopped
light soy sauce
black bean sauce
thin slices of carrot
pork shoulder cut into 1/4 inch thick steaks
kosher salt to taste
English cucumbers halved and sliced into half moons to 1/4 inch thick
gochugaru, or less depending upon your heat tolerance
2 1/2 tablespoons
garlic, microplaned and divided into separate tablespoons
2 1/2 tablespoons
ginger, microplaned and divided into separate tablespoons
light soy sauce, divided into separate tablespoons
toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
sliced button mushrooms
spinach (or more)
cooked sticky rice
whole leaves from red leaf, green leaf, or bibb/butter lettuce
Make your Bulgogi marinade, do this 24 hours in advance. It could even be done up to 48 hours in advance.
Place the first 10 Bulgogi ingredients in a blender and puree.
Place your pork steaks between two sheets of parchment paper of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thickness.
Place marinade, carrot slices, and pork steaks in a zip lock, press the air out and refrigerate until you plan to cook.
Banchan #1- Cucumber Kimchi (you can have this fully prepared up to 3 hours before cooking pork)
Toss sliced cucumbers with 1 Tbs. of kosher salt then place in a colander in sink to drain for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a bowl large enough to fit the cucumbers, mix the gochjang, gochugaru, rice wine vinegar, 1/2 Tbs minced garlic, 1/2 Tbs of minced ginger, 1 Tbs soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 Tbs of sesame seeds. Add the drained and dried cucumbers and refrigerate until it is time to eat.
Banchan #2- Mirin Glazed Mushrooms
Heat 2 Tbs of canola oil in a heavy bottomed skillet until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and a healthy pinch of kosher salt. Allow the mushrooms to caramelize and cook 3/4 of the way through.
Add 1 Tbs of ginger, 1 Tbs of garlic, 1 Tbs soy, and mirin to mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are nicely glazed. Cover and put on back of stove until pork is ready.
Banchan #3- Spinach
Add 2 tsp of canola oil to a non stick skillet with the remaining 1 Tbs of garlic and 1 Tbs ginger. Saute until fragrant then add spinach and a healthy pinch of kosher salt, stir to combine and cook until almost fully wilted. Add remaining 1 Tbs soy and 1 tsp sesame oil and cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Cover, and put of back of stove until pork is ready.
Your grill should be preheated to high by now (you didn't know that?)
Pull pork out of marinade, wipe off excess- you don't need or want to wipe all of it off, just some. Sprinkle the pork on both sides with kosher salt and a little canola oil.
Lower temperature on grill to med-high and grill pork, turning a few times to prevent burning for about 6 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. You do not want to overcook this or else it will turn tough.
You are ready to eat... If necessary, warm mushrooms and spinach while pork rests.
Slice pork and plate with cucumber kimchi, spinach, mushrooms, and rice. Garnish everything but the pork with another sprinkling of sesame seeds. You can throw in some traditional cabbage kimchi as well if you like! Wrap the ingredients in the lettuce leaves and enjoy.
Don't forget to leave some leftovers for lunch the next day!