Korean Spicy Marinated Pork With Chilies and Kimchi (Jaeyook Kimchi Bokum) Recipe

Korean Spicy Marinated Pork With Chilies and Kimchi (Jaeyook Kimchi Bokum) Recipe

Flavorful strips of pork shoulder are marinated in a spicy-sweet sauce, then stir-fried with kimchi. [Photographs: Daniel Gritzer]

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.

  • Yield:Serves 4 to 6
  • Active time: 25 minutes
  • Total time:25 minutes plus 2 hours marinating time

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste; see note)
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled Asian pear (see note)
  • 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 toastes sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean dried chili pepper flakes; see note)
  • 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 chili pepper, stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (see note)
  • 1 packed cup drained kimchi
  • Kosher salt
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Lettuce leaves and cooked medium-grain rice, for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    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.

  2. 2.

    In a large bowl, toss pork with marinade, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

  3. 3.

    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.

  4. 4.

    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.

  5. 5.

    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.