There are too many great meat dishes in the Korean canon to pick a favorite, but this one of stir-fried marinated pork with kimchi is definitely in my top five. Easy to make, it features thin strips of pork shoulder in a spicy-sweet blend of Korean chili paste, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil—plus a bit of Asian pear for both flavor and its tenderizing effect.
Why this recipe works:
- Asian pear adds a subtle sweetness to the marinade, while helping to tenderize the meat.
- Stir-frying in batches ensures that the ingredients will brown and not just stew in the wok or skillet.
Note: Korean ingredients like gochujang and gochugaru are available at Korean and Asian markets. If you can't find Asian pear, you can still make this recipe by adding an additional 1 tablespoon sugar to the marinade.
1/3 cup gochujang (Korean chile paste; see notes)
1/4 cup chopped peeled Asian pear (see notes)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger (about one 1-inch knob)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Asian rice wine
2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean dried chile pepper flakes; see notes)
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into thin strips
6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 fresh Korean green chile pepper, stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (see notes)
1 packed cup drained kimchi
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Lettuce leaves and cooked medium-grain rice, for serving
In a food processor, combine gochujang, Asian pear, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, rice wine, and gochugaru and process until a smooth marinade forms.
In a large bowl, toss pork with marinade, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.
When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add onion, scallion, and green chili pepper, and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until softened and starting to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
Heat 1 more tablespoon oil in the wok until smoking. Add kimchi and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until heated through and excess liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the platter with the onions.
Working in 4 batches, heat remaining oil in wok until smoking. Add pork and stir-fry until just cooked-through and starting to brown in spots, then transfer to platter. Return all ingredients to wok and cook, tossing and stirring, until heated through. Season with salt, transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve right away with lettuce leaves and rice.
Wok or large skillet, food processor
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 41g||52%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||52%|
|Total Carbohydrate 20g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 13g|
|Vitamin C 26mg||129%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|