I’m worried that I may have given some of you the wrong idea. People who’ve read the first few posts on the blog could be forgiven for thinking that I’m some kind of jolly butcher type who spends all his time eating sausages and making pork pies. This is a half truth. Believe it or not, I also cook and eat food that doesn’t come stuffed into hog casings. Occasionally, I even eat vegetables .Don’t believe me? The proof is below.
I’ve always been a big fan of South East Asian food and have spent the last couple of years taking advantage of London (and New Malden’s) ever increasing spread of Korean restaurants. I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with Korean Bulgogi or barbeque food; slices of meat marinated or dredged in fermented bean paste, griddled on a tabletop barbeque until charred then served wrapped in lettuce leaves with rice, kimchi and namul.
I’ve also had a massive craving for gochujang recently that I just had to satisfy. Gochgujang and doenjang are mainstays of Korean food and are basically fermented bean and rice powder pastes. Gochujang includes chilli, doenjang doesn’t. You can usually find it in plastic colour coded tubs in Asian shops, red for gochujang, brown for doenjang (and green for seasoned doenjang but we’re not using that here!)
Below is my version of gochujang bulgogi. In the absence of a tabletop barbeque (Liz vetoed my purchase of one…for now) a hot, heavy based frying pan is almost as good.
600g pork cubed or thinly sliced. (thinly sliced is traditional but I cubed mine)
1 onion thinly sliced ( I used a mandoline)
2 carrots thinly sliced or cut into matchsticks. (Again I used a mandoline)
3 tbsp gochujang chilli paste
1 tbsp doenjang soy bean paste
1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
1tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
5/6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 spring onion chopped.
1 lettuce. Little gem is good.
First combine your marinade ingredients in a large bowl. You may want to adjust the level of gochujang depending on how spicy you like things. Three tablespoons should give you a decent level of heat without bringing about tastebud armageddon but feel free to adjust to your taste.
Add your pork, onions, and carrots to the marinade and stir well to combine. Cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavours combine.
When you’re ready to cook, heat a large heavy bottomed pan or wok until its good and hot. You shouldn’t need to put any oil in the pan as its already in the marindate.
Add everything to the pan and cook until your meat is thoroughly cooked through. Don’t worry if it catches on the pan a little bit. Any bits that char will just give it a lovely caramelised barbeque flavour.
A couple of minutes before you’re due to serve the pork stir in a tablespoon or so of sesame seeds and some chopped spring onion.
Bring it to the table with a good supply of lettuce leaves to wrap your pork pieces in and serve with boiled rice and kimchi. Incredible. The combination of crisp, crunchy lettuces leaves with the spicy sweet barbecued meat is sublime. A can or two of Hite would be a very appropriate accompaniment.
I know I said at the beginning of this post that I didn’t only eat sausages. I am however mulling on the idea of mincing the pork after marinading and stuffing into casings. Watch this space…