Serious Eats: Recipes

Grilling: Daeji Bulgogi

"I still couldn't get enough of these little pieces of meaty excellence."

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

When I told people I hadn't experienced Korean barbecue yet, they were shocked. The fact that such a meat enthusiast had never enjoyed the wonders of this cuisine brought such strong reactions, I had to try it. And when I finally did, I was underwhelmed at first. Starting with beef bulgogi, the evening continued with one pleasant meat after another, but nothing quite lived up to all the hype.

That was until I got to the Daeji Bulgogi.

Daeji Bulgogi, thin slices of spicy marinated pork, was exactly what I had imagined Korean barbecue would be—a perfectly tender and flavorful pork with a unique and bold spiciness. I had never quite experienced anything like it before. It was so delicious, I needed more, preferably in my own home.

I made it on the grill and thankfully, it was everything I had ever hoped for. The gochujang, a fermented hot red pepper paste, provided most of the flavor. The other ingredients in the marinade played second fiddle to its outstanding spiciness. The fiery slices of pork were rolled up in Bibb lettuce, with a little kimchi and quick pickles thrown in there. Even with minimal sharing and a massive amount of Daeji Bulgogi, I still couldn't get enough of these little pieces of meaty excellence.

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