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Korean Barbecued Pork

In Korea, this recipe, known as toejigogi kui, is made with pork belly, but it's equally delicious--and much leaner--when prepared with pork loin. And it's great for a Friday night meal because the pork can marinate all day while you're at work and can be on the table soon after you get home. To save time, have your butcher slice and pound the pork cutlets.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted and finely ground
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili-garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless center-cut pork loin, sliced 1/2 inch thick and pounded 1/3 inch thick
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill
  • 1 large head of red-leaf or green-leaf lettuce, leaves separated
  • Miso, red pepper paste, chili-garlic paste and sliced hot green chiles plus thinly sliced scallions or kimchi, for serving


  1. In a large glass baking dish, combine the mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, scallions, ginger, chili-garlic paste, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Add the slices of pork loin and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate the pork for 8 to 24 hours.
  2. Light a grill. Lightly brush the grate with vegetable oil. Grill the marinated pork over a medium-hot fire until it is golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled pork to 1 end of a platter and arrange the lettuce leaves on the other end. Serve the pork with the suggested condiments.

Serve With

Steamed white rice or white sticky rice.

Suggested Pairing

Although wine is not traditionally served with Korean food, it can work extremely well as long as the chile flavor in a dish is not overpowering. A bright, young, fruity red, like a Shiraz from Western Australia, is sweet enough to round out the pungency of the marinade here.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published October 2003

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