Spicy Korean Grilled Pork

Pounding slices of pork tenderizes the meat, making it thin enough to take on the flavor of the marinade and allowing it to cook fast enough to stay moist.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Time(Other): plus 24 hr marinating

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  • 1 cup Chinese fermented black beans (5 ounces); see Note
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
  • One 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Korean chile paste (gochujang); see Note
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • One 3-pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder roast, cut crosswise into twelve 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

How to make this recipe

  1. Put the fermented black beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the beans.

  2. In a food processor, combine the black beans, garlic and ginger and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chile paste, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar and blend well.

  3. On a work surface, pound the pork slices 1/8 inch thick. Lay one-fourth of the pork slices in a large, shallow dish and coat with one-fourth of the black bean marinade. Repeat with the remaining pork and marinade for three more layers. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the pork from the marinade, leaving just a thin coating on the meat. Brush the pork with oil and grill over moderate heat, turning every 2 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes.


Chinese fermented black beans and gochujang are available at Asian markets and from amazon.com. Or substitute an equal amount of Chinese black bean sauce or any kind of Asian chile paste.

Serve With

Vegetables or chilled noodles.

Suggested Pairing

Tannins in red wine can intensify the heat in chiles, so for this dish, look for a fruit-forward Grenache-based wine.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published June 2012

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