Spicy Pork Belly Barbecue (Maewoon Samgyupsal)

Pineapple juice and honey lend a subtle sweetness to already succulent pork belly. A generous serving of gochujang (Korean chile paste, made out of chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soy beans and salt) gives this dish a boldness that spicy food lovers will go crazy for.

Recipe courtesy Esther Choi for Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 6 hr 30 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 6 hr
Cook: 15 min
YIELD: 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger (about one 1/2-inch piece)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound pork belly, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 mild chile peppers, such as red finger or shishito, thinly sliced
  • Boston lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Korean Bean Sprout Salad, recipe follows
  • White rice, for serving
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound soya bean sprouts, with beans attached
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red chile pepper flakes)
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Whisk the gochujang, pineapple juice, honey, sesame oil, ginger and garlic together in a medium bowl.

Place the pork in a zip-top bag and pour the gochujang mixture over it. Seal the bag and shake well, making sure that the marinade coats the meat. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Heat a grill pan on medium-high heat or prepare an outdoor grill. Cook the pork until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a board and cut into bite-size pieces.

On a serving platter, make separate piles of chiles, lettuce leaves and Korean Bean Sprout Salad. To make a lettuce cup, spoon some rice in the center of a lettuce leaf, top with a few pieces of pork, some chiles and salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds and fold.
Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and then add the bean sprouts and cook until al dente, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately add to the ice water. Drain in a strainer and pat dry.

Add the bean sprouts to a medium bowl, toss with the sesame oil, fish sauce, gochugaru, mirin, garlic and scallions and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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