Bokkeum (볶음) is a generic term to refer to a Korean dish made by stir-frying ingredients in a sauce.  According to Korean dictionaries, the verb form of bokkeum, “bokkda” (볶다) means “cooking dried ingredients over heat.” However, bokkeum not only refers to dishes made by stir-frying ingredients to a dry state, but also indicates dishes with a thick sauce after cooking. The former is called geonyeol bokkeum (건열볶음 dry stir-fried dishes) and the latter is called seupyeol bokkeum (습열볶음, watery stir-fried dishes) by the literal meaning in Korean.




The Elements

  • 1 small white onion, puréed in a blender or food processor
  • 14 cup gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
  • 2 tbsp. gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tbsp. honey powder or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • One 12-inch knob of ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 lb. pork belly, sliced 18 inch thick
  • 12 lb. pork shoulder, sliced 18 inch thick
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Steamed rice, for serving
  • Lettuce or perilla leaves, for wrapping (optional)
The Method
  1. In a large bowl, add the onion, gochujang, gochugaru, honey powder, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and 1 tablespoon water; stir to combine. Add the pork, stirring to coat, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. In a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until lightly smoking. Add the marinated pork, as many slices as will fit in one layer, and up to 2 tablespoons extra marinade if you have any. Cook, turning frequently with tongs, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Pour out any excess fat, rinse or wipe the pan clean, and repeat with any remaining pork.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish the meat with the sesame seeds and scallion. Serve with steamed rice and lettuce or perilla leaves for wrapping if desired.
Recipe Courtesy of Saveur

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