I have been hanging around and eating in a lot of Korean restaurants lately having my fair-share of bulgogi. Although beef bulgogi is most common, there is also dak bulgogi (chicken) and ordwaeji bulgogi (pork).
In Korean, bulgogi translates to “fire meat”. Pretty much any meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, pepper, and other ingredients such as scallions, ginger and then cooked over fire. It’s not unusual to find grated Asian pair in the mixture, but my friend Jane’s family swears by kiwi instead. I’ll take her word for it.
This marinade was too good to throw out once the chops finished soaking in it. You know I love double-duty marinades and so I saved the marinade and simmered it a bit to use as a sauce on the side. I think Jane would approve.
- For marinade:
- 4 kiwi, peeled
- 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean chili paste) or sriracha or (more or less)
- 2 tablespoons mirin or sake
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- 1½ teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 to 6 center cut pork loin chops, at least 1-inch think
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender; puree until smooth. Place chops in a shallow pan in a single-layer or in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in marinade and make sure chops are coated well on all sides. Marinate in refrigerator for a couple hours and as long as over night.
- Remove chops from marinade an hour before grilling; scrape away excess marinade and pat dry. Transfer marinade to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil for i minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat grill for direct heat grilling with two zones: high heat and medium heat. Brush and oil the grates before cooking.
- Place chops on the high heat side for two minutes to sear the meat, flip and sear the other side for two minutes. Move chops to the medium heat; rotate 90 degrees for crosshatch marks. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F for medium (medium is 145°F; the temperature will rise another 5°F with carryover heat).
- Let chopes rest for 7 or 8 minutes and serve hot with scallion rice, kim chee and reserved sauce.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!