A few weeks ago (after much Amazon researching), we finally bought a burner to cook stews or meat right at the table! This means Korean BBQ on the dinner table at home in PJs! I used to love (and still do) when my dad cooked us meat at the side of our dinner table and was missing this home cooked Korean BBQ tradition. This is a big win for my home body especially with the winter months of Boston ahead.
For our first table side Korean BBQ we opted for spicy bean sprout pork bulgogi inspired by Baek Jong Won. While I already mentioned that his recipes aren’t always my favorite because they tend to be overly sweet, his recipes are a really good place to start especially with the simplicity and easiness of his recipes.
This spicy bean sprout pork bulgogi doesn’t require a burner at the table and can be cooked in the kitchen and brought to the table in a pretty serving bowl when finished.. but it makes it a lot more fun if you can cook it at the table and watch eagerly as the bean sprouts begin to release juices while the spicy sauce begins to seep into the bean sprouts and meat. This dish starts with a mound of healthy bean sprouts that will look to overflow the fry pan but it will loose it’s volume as the bean sprouts start to cook and release the delicious juice. Do not second guess the recipe because the portion does not look right at first! It will come together, trust me. The best part about this dish though is that it’s amazingly easy. Just wash a few vegetables, bring out the meat and put together a sauce that is simply made from ingredients found most commonly in Korean cooking. It will look fancy at the end of the day so no one will know it only took 5 minutes.
We recently made this for our housewarming with a few friends and it turned out perfect. We brought out a few dishes to start off the party and cooked the bean sprout bulgogi at the side of the table until ready. The sizzling sound throughout was music to our ears. And once we started to dig in and only had about 1/5th of the veggies and meat leftover, we stir-fried a cup of rice into the fry pan, added a dripping of sesame oil and crushed dried seaweed. Delicious! We’re not often able to do this with only the two of us because it becomes way too much food but it was the perfect end to our meal with friends. The spicy sauce smothered on to the slightly toasted fried rice and the nutty after taste from the sesame oil combined with the salty dried seaweed is amazing. We were so excited to eat this at the end that we missed out on the photo but tips on how to assemble the fried rice down below!
- 400 g thinly sliced pork belly (slightly less than a pound) – 대패삼겸살
- 320 g bean sprout (usually one plastic bags worth) 콩나물
- 1 large green onion
- 1/2 onion
- 10 perilla leaves 깻입
- 2 spicy peppers of choice (Korean peppers, jalapeno etc)
- 1/2 large carrot
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup mushrooms (king oyster, enoki, oyster)
- Optional: 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Spicy Sauce Ingredients
Baek Jong Won’s Sauce Ratio is 1: 1: 1: 1: 1: 1 for every ingredient but his recipes are often too sweet for me so a few adjustments were made
- 4 Tbsp red pepper flakes (gochu garu) – added redness for the sauce
- 3 Tbsp red pepper paste (gochujang)
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp mirin (rice cooking wine)
- 2.5 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp honey (or sugar) – reduced sugar from the original recipe
Wash the bean sprouts and place in a strainer so the water dries out as you move on to the next steps.
Slice the onions and peppers. Cut the green onions into long pieces and slice the carrots thinly but long. Cut the perilla leaves into fourths.
Make the sauce by placing all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
Take out a large fry pan. Lay all the bean sprouts on the bottom and place the green onions, carrots and onions on top. Place the thin sliced pork on top of the vegetables and pour on the spicy sauce. Finally, sprinkle on the green peppers and sesame seeds.
* The perilla leaves can soften too quickly so I like to add these more towards the end.
(you can see the juices start to release at the bottom of the pan on the right side photo)
Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure the heat is not too strong because the bean sprouts will then stick to the fry pan. If you heat over medium heat, over time the bean sprouts will begin to release it’s juices at the bottom of the pan and help to cook the other vegetables without any oil.
Once the vegetables are cooking through, place the perilla leaves on top and mix for about one or two minutes. Continue to cook until the meat is fully cooked through.
Tip: As mentioned above, once there’s only about 1/5th of the vegetables/meat left, you can make fried rice from here! Add in a bowl of rice, 1 Tbsp of sesame oil (or to taste), and about 1 – 2 sheets of dried seaweed crushed (just crush into a ball in your fist and throw it into the pan).
(clips from the TV show – look at the mound of bean sprouts which will release their juices and reduce in volume)