That’s right. Simplified. Modified. Not all of us have a tabletop grill for the traditional cooking method but we can mimic the cooking procedure without sacrificing on flavor.
How? My method is to simmer a slab of pork belly, uncut and unseasoned, in water until tender. I cut it into slices, marinate the slices in spices, soy sauce, rice wine and, for the spice factor, gochujang.
The marinated pork slices are grilled in a lightly oiled cast iron pan. Because the pork is already fully cooked, the pan-grilling is simply meant to allow the sugars in the marinade to caramelize and form a light crust.
An important tip: Cooked pork belly is easier to slice when allowed to chill in the fridge for several hours. The meat and fat firm up, and that results in neater slices.
Korean-inspired pan-grilled spicy pork belly
- 1 500 slab of pork belly - boiled, cooled and chilled, then cut into ⅛-inch thick slices or thinner
- 3 tablespoons gochujang - (available in Asian groceries and Asian section of better supermarkets)
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce - (I used Kikkoman)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine - (sake or mirin)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- drizzle sesame seed oil
- 1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- 1 generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil - divided
- sliced scallions to garnish
- toasted sesame seeds to garnish
- Place the pork in a wide shallow bowl.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade, but using only half of the cooking oil, and pour over the pork slices. Mix the marinade into the meat well.
- Cover the bowl and allow the pork belly slices to soak up the flavors for at least an hour.
- Heat a skillet (cast iron is especially good) and brush the remaining cooking oil on the cooking surface.
- Pan-grill the pork belly slices in batches over high heat, three to four minutes per side, until the marinade caramelizes and forms a light crust on the surface.
- Serve the spicy pan-grilled pork belly over rice garnished with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.