Recipe courtesy of Esther Choi

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.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 6 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 6 hr
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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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


  1. 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.
  2. Korean Bean Sprout Salad: 
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 1 pound soya bean sprouts, with beans attached
  5. 1/4 cup sesame oil
  6. 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  7. 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red chile pepper flakes)
  8. 1 tablespoon mirin
  9. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 2 scallions, chopped
  11. Sesame seeds, for garnish
  12. 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.