Food & Wine (June 2012)
When we invited Jim and a friend over for a celebratory graduation dinner, we knew the star of the show would be Jim's all-time favorite cake. The cake takes several days to prepare, and in our minds, the rest of the meal was just us biding time until we got to dessert, so we wanted to keep everything simple. Plus, we wanted to be able to enjoy the time with our friends and not be either in the kitchen or at the grill the entire evening, so we sought out recipes
We had already decided to make a Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Edamame, and Radish, and knew that we wanted a protein that would pair nicely with it, but also something that would also offer some bigger flavors. For that, we turned to Food & Wine.
This recipe comes from Food & Wine's June "Global Grilling Games" feature, an Olympics-inspired item in which five chefs feature 10 summer grilling recipes from around the globe. There's Leg of Lamb from Turkey, Tuscan Chicken from Italy, Latin Rib Eye Steak from Mexico, Grilled Kale from the U.S., and much more. Chicago Chef Bill Kim represents South Korea, offering both Chicken Thighs with Homemade Ssam Paste and this Spicy Korean Pork.
We loved this pork because most of the work (and there's very little work) was done a day in advance, creating the marinade, pounding the pork flat, and then refrigerating it in the marinade. The night of our dinner, we simply removed it from the marinade and grilled it.
The sauce is just dynamite. On its own, it smells wonderful. The chile paste, combined with ginger, fermented black beans, sesame oil and rice vinegar make for big, bold Asian flavors. Slathered on the pork, it's both sweet and mildly spicy.
We haven't yet sampled the other recipes in the "Global Grilling Games," but out of the gate, our money's on South Korea.
Time: 45 minutes plus 24 hours marinating
Notes from Zach and Clay of The Bitten Word:
- Per the recipe's instructions, we substituted a jarred black bean sauce for the fermented black beans, and substituted a spicy Asian chile paste we had on hand for the gochujang.
- The recipe recommends using a 3-pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder roast -- we ended up just buying already cut boneless shoulder chops. This recipe will work just fine with any cut of pork that you can pound flat.
1 cup Chinese fermented black beans (5 ounces)
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-inch-thick slices
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Put the fermented black beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the beans.
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.
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.
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.
Notes: 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.