Korean Pork Belly Bowl

Today’s recipe combines two of my favorite things: pork belly and Korean flavors. This dish consists of marinated pork belly stripes, served on top of sticky rice, garnished with onions, spring onions, pickled apples and a soy glaze. If you think it’s a lot going on, you are right: but it’s SO worth it. Also, if you think it’s gonna take you forever to prepare this, think again. It’s not overly complicated and I will guide you through it, I promise you won’t regret it. Nothing better than a bowl of nice food when the days are cold and snowy like today.

Preparation Time: 15-20 min | Cooking Time: 20-25min | Serves: 2 | Spice level: 🌶

 

What you’ll need:

For the marinade

  • Half a green apple
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Small piece of ginger (thumb sized)
  • Half a brown onion
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 green onion
  • 3 Tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

For the the apple pickle

  • The other half of the green apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

For the glaze

  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice viengar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 small chili, thinly minced

Everything else

  • About 500g pork belly, skin removed, cut into very thin strips
  • Green onions, sliced (to garnish)
  • Sesame seeds (to garnish)
  • Sticky rice (recipe here, if you’d like one)
  • The other half of the brown onion, cut in half moons
  • One small chili, sliced (to garnish)

 

Method:

  • First things first, get your pork belly ready. Your butcher can cut it in thin slices, or you can put it in the freezer for about 40 minutes to help you slice it with a very sharp knife.
  • Blitz all the marinade ingredients together (gochujang, onion, apple, ginger, garlic, green onion, soy, sesame oil and sugar). Pour the marinade over the pork belly stripes, give it a good mix and let it rest in the fridge while you keep going.
  • You can start making the rice now, as it will take about 20 minutes altogether. Again, recipe here if needed.
  • The next step is making the pickle. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt together in a bowl, then add the apple slices to it, making sure they are all in contact with the liquid. Put it in the fridge while you keep going (see, easy!)
  • Now on to grilling the pork belly. Grab a large nonstick frying pan or grill pan and put it on high heat until it’s really hot. Grill the pork belly pieces, making sure you remove any excess marinade from them before going in the pan. They should take about 5 minutes or so, flipping halfway through, but this will obviously depend on how thick they are. You might have to do this in batches as well, depending on the size of your pan.
  • Once all the meat is cooked, set it aside for now. Add a little oil to the pan (if needed) and fry the onion until it starts softening. Here preference is key, some people like onions a little more cooked than others, so I’ll leave it up to you.
  • At this stage, your rice should be ready, so all you need to do is the glaze. Add all the glaze ingredients to a bowl and mix very well. Then pour it on a small frying pan on medium-high heat and let it reduce until it’s thick. And that’s it!
  • To serve this dish, grab yourself a nice bowl and put some rice on the bottom. Top it with pork belly stripes, a bit of onions and pickled apples. Drizzle some of the glaze over it and garnish with chili, sesame seeds and green onions. Comfort food doesn’t get much better than this.
  • Enjoy!

 


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Notes: 

  • You can very easily find Gochujang in Asian stores (if you are in London I recommend H Mart, near Warren Street) or online (e.g. Amazon)
  • The beautiful bowl you see in this picture was a present from the lovely Jacob, who is a great cook and you can check out his wonderful stuff HERE
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