I don’t know if there is such a thing as Korean soul food, but if so, I think this would qualify. It’s so absolutely delicious, bursting with the aromatic flavors of garlic and ginger, sweetness from brown sugar, salty soy sauce, and fiery pepper paste and pepper flakes. The original recipe, from www.maangchi.com, calls for pork belly. We didn’t feel like going to the Asian market, so we used boneless pork chops and they worked just fine (though we did slightly overcook them). But you could certainly use chicken, thinly sliced beef, or tofu and it would still be terrific (you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time depending on the protein you use).
The pepper paste gochujang is what really gives the dish a great texture – you can find it in your Asian market in varying degrees of spiciness (get at least the medium one – it’s not that spicy).
We served this with a fantastic new product we found at Trader Joe’s – frozen kimchi fried rice. Despite being microwaved in a plastic bag, I was fluffy, moist, and flavorful. There weren’t many pieces of kimchi in it, but it was a little spicy and very tasty. Good for the Seoul. Enjoy!
(Insert unpronounceable Korean name) Spicy Korean Stir-fried Pork
1½ pounds boneless pork chops, cut into bite size pieces about ¼ inch thick
1 medium onion, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. minced ginger
1/3 cup gochujang
2 tbsp. hot pepper flakes
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. black ground pepper
2 tsp. of sesame oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Heat a wok or deep skillet over high heat. Place all ingredients except the sesame seeds into the pan. Mix and stir with a wooden spoon, until the pork is cooked thoroughly, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer it to a serving plate, sprinkle sesame seeds on top, and serve with rice and kimchi. Eat!