These savory pork skewers are a delicious alternative to classic bulgogi and perfect for meat eaters of all ages and tastes. They will especially be appreciated by guests who don’t like spicy food.
It’s best to cook them over an open flame or BBQ if you can. If you’re like me and cooking indoors, you can first cook them on the grill and then lightly char them over any kind of open flame.
This recipe is very very old. It comes from my Korean ancestors who were nomads in the Maek tribe in the Goguryo kingdom (BC 37-668). This is their ancient meat dish: “jeok” means “barbecued meat skewers” in English. Many people believe maekjeok is the forerunner to today’s bulgogi because it calls for the meat to be pre-marinated, like bulgogi. This was long before there were any chili peppers in Korea, so the marinade was made with ganjang (soup soy sauce), doenjang (fermented soybean paste), and garlic.
Enjoy the recipe, and if you make it, let me know how it turns out and send me a photo!
- 1 pound pork shoulder, sliced very thinly
- ¾ cup minced onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
- 1 tablespoon mirim (or water, or cooking wine)
- 2 tablespoons rice syrup (or olligodang)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 ounces (about 1½ cup) Asian chives (buchu), cut into 3 inch long
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Combine onion, garlic, ginger, mirim, doenjang, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, rice syrup, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Add the pork and mix well by hand. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Make the salad by combining the chives, salt, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well by hand. Set aside.
- Skewer the marinated pork. Make 4 skewers on 9-10 inch long skewers.
Let’s cook! You can barbecue, grill, or pan-fry! To grill:
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add vegetable oil and swirl the pan around to spread it evenly.
- Add the pork skewers. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the bottom goes light golden brown. Then turn them over and cook the other side for 5 minutes.
- Flip them over a final time and cook for a few more minutes until the pork is thoroughly cooked and not pink at all.
- Optionally, if you have access to an open flame, scorch the outside of the meat to make it even more delicious.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Serve with rice and the chive salad.