Why It Works
- Gochujang adds not only heat but also plenty of rich, savory flavor and a touch of sweetness.
- Soy sauce and sake round out the marinade, adding complexity.
Sriracha may be the king of Asian chili sauces, but when I cook, I'm much more likely to reach for a fuller-flavored condiment, like Korean gochujang. Here, I use it in a sweet-savory marinade for pork belly kebabs, cooked on the grill until moist and tender inside and perfectly browned outside.
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (see note)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons sake
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
- 1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless pork belly, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1-inch-thick half-moons
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
In a small bowl, mix together gochujang, honey, sake, soy sauce, and oil. Reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade in refrigerator. In a large bowl, toss pork with remaining marinade until thoroughly coated and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
When ready to grill, slide pork onto bamboo skewers, alternating with pieces of zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper.
Prepare your grill. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes.
Place skewers near the middle of the grill (where heat should be moderate). Cook, turning the skewers and basting with the reserved marinade every few minutes, until pork is cooked through, tender within, and browned on the outside, about 13 minutes. Serve right away.
grill, bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes before using)
Gochujang, a Korean fermented chili paste, is available at Asian markets and well-stocked food stores.