If you’re looking for an easy meal that’s a change from the same old, this pork bulgogi is the perfect choice. With a simple 6 ingredient marinade and a quick cook, it’s a tasty meal everyone will enjoy. Thanks to Smithfield for sponsoring this tasty meal idea.
As you might have noticed, we’ve been getting in to Korean food a bit more recently, with my vegetarian bibimbap and Korean sashimi rice bowl (hoedeopbab) becoming instant hits with us. The only challenge was they weren’t that great for the kids, between the spicy gochujang and sashimi. Bulgogi, however, is something more to their taste.
We’ve made beef bulgogi a couple times but I wanted to try changing things up with some tasty Smithfield Boneless Loin I had picked up at my local Shaw’s (and is also available at other select grocers).
There is actually a traditional Korean bulgogi dish with pork, but it’s spicy. I decided instead to go with the flavors more typically used in the beef version for pork. It worked perfectly for a tasty, easy family-friendly meal.
You may have noticed we use pork products in lots of meals, with pork carnitas, for example, being a regular feature on our menu. I’ve also used the Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork in dishes like my Vietnamese-style pork and rice bowl and Thai-style grilled pork lettuce wraps. But it’s also fun to change things up and use pork in dishes that might typically use chicken or beef.
How it’s made
For this dish, all you do is mix up the marinade ingredients, slice the pork thinly and add it to the marinade. Leave for a couple hours, or more, then grill it up. The pork loin is nice and tender so works perfectly with this quick cook.
A couple tips for perfect pork bulgogi
- If you’re not familiar with Asian pear, it is rounder and firmer, more like an apple, but a bit juicier. It gives both a little sweetness and tenderizes the meat. I found them in my local Shaw’s – just look with the exotic fruits – but if you don’t find one, an apple of firm pear would also work.
- I’ve put ginger as an optional ingredient – I tried this both with and without ginger and both me and my husband preferred it with ginger as it gives a slight ‘zing’, but as you prefer.
- A typical Korean grill has smaller spacings than what you may be used to so you risk the meat falling through. I find a grill pan works much better, or if you want to grill outside you are best to use a piece of foil with some holes poked in it on top of the grill.
- The first batch cooked will be paler then the next take on more color and flavor as the grill holds some of the marinade, so be sure to mix it up before serving.
- don’t be tempted to throw in all the marinade and sauté – the flavor really is best with the quick grill.
The few ingredients in the marinade for this pork bulgogi give lots of sweet salty flavor with so little effort. Then a quick cook and you’ve got a great tasting, easy family meal. Perfect for any night.
Tools to make this dish (affiliate link)
I made this on my Le Creuset Cast Iron Grill Pan which works really well (note an outdoor grill would need to be lined to save the this pieces of meat from falling through).
This pork bulgogi takes only a few ingredients and a bit of marinating, then a quick cook for a tasty meal.
- ¼ cup soy sauce 4 tbsp
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ Asian pear peeled, core removed and grated
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced (approx 3-4 cloves)
- 1 tsp ginger minced (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 1/2 lb Smithfield Boneless Center Cut Fresh Pork Loin 680g
In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, Asian pear, scallions, garlic and ginger if using. Cut the pork into thin slices, trimming any fat and sinew as you go. Cut the slices into bite sized pieces then add to the marinade and mix. Leave to marinade a minimum of 30 minutes, but ideally a few hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat grill pan to a medium-high heat. Take slices of the pork and cook in a single layer in batches on the grill pan, turning as you see the first side is starting to cook then just a minute or two more on the other side. They will cook quickly, so watch closely. As each batch cooks, set the pork aside and keep it warm.
Suggest serving with rice and your favorite Korean sides eg kimchi, or lightly seasoned veg such as those in my vegetarian bibimbap.
Times above don’t include marinating time. See other notes above for more tips.
Try these other tasty pork dishes:
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield Fresh Pork.
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