Korean Spicy Pork (Dwaejigogi)
Why I Love This Recipe
Korean food is my favorite cuisine. I fell in love with it when I would visit Chicago which has a great selection of Korean restaurants. Later, when I moved to Seattle, Korean food was very popular where I lived and expanded my palette greatly. To me, there is nothing that quite beats the unique taste of gochujang (fermented chili paste) and I always have tried to find ways to incorporate it into other foods that I make in the house (much to my wife’s dismay – she is not a spice person!). Even now, I still take the almost 2 hour trip to get to Chicago once every few months to get my fix of Korean food “done right”. However, with the pandemic I have not had the chance to go and with the craving not going away I knew I had to find ways to cook this food at home and thanks. Here is my homage to the dish that started my love of Korean food – dwaejigogi (also known as Jeyuk Bokkeum, Dwaejibulgogi, or just Korean Spicy Pork). It is based off of the recipe from a place I have been going to for 20 years but modified slightly to accommodate shopping at a normal grocery store and not a specialty store. I have also included modifications to dampen the heat for those who want the flavor but not the spice.
The one ingredient that you cannot substitute is gochujang or ssamjang. I can find both at my grocery store but the exact same brand that I buy (O’food) is available on Amazon.com.
Ingredients You'll Need
Marinade Ingredients (per pound of meat):
3 tbsp Gochujang (substitute Ssamjang if you do not want it as spicy)
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp raw sugar (turbinado, Sugar in the Raw, or demerara; brown sugar in a pinch)
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger (or 2 tsp freshly grated ginger)
1 tsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes, highly optional)
1.5 tbsp Mirin (rice wine)
30g / 1 tbsp grated apple or pear (can substitute juice)
1/2 brown or sweet onion
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
Note: If using Ssamjang instead of Gochujang, also add in 1/2 tbsp of honey
Pork Meat – preferably pork shoulder/butt or pork belly. Avoid low fat pork cuts such as loin
3 stalks green onion for garnish
sesame seeds for garnish (preferably toasted)
Thinly slice the pork meat. In the past, I have asked my butcher at the grocery store to cut it into deli slices. If you are using a meat slicer, set the dial to “2”. Otherwise if you do not have a meat slicer, you can partially freeze the meat and cut it that way. If you are near an Asian grocery store, buying a “shabu shabu” cut of pork is something that can be used.
Mix marinade ingredients together thoroughly. Add pork to marinade and seal it in a bag or container. Marinade for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of one day.
Use a wok or large pan, set heat to high/medium high. Cook with onions for about 6-8 min or until onions are soft and meat is cooked and caramelizing.
However, the best way to cook it is over a grill. If your grill grates are too large and it looks like the meat may slip through, can use a tinfoil cover and poke holes in it. Cook either with onions or use excess marinade to cook onions separately until soft.
Cut up the green onions and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve over bed of rice.