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. Combine onion, garlic, ginger, mirim, doenjang, 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil, rice syrup, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.maekjeok_marinade
  2. Add the pork and mix well by hand. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.maekjeok_seasoningmaekjeok_mixing
  3. Make the salad by combining the chives, kosher salt, and toasted sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well by hand. Set aside.buchu salad
  4. 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:

  1. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add vegetable oil and swirl the pan around to spread it evenly.
  2. 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.grilling maekjeok
  3. Flip them over a final time and cook for a few more minutes until the pork is thoroughly cooked and not pink at all.
  4. Optionally, if you have access to an open flame, scorch the outside of the meat to make it even more delicious.maekjeok
  5. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Serve with rice and the chive salad.



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  1. katiecakie The Netherlands joined 8/22 & has 1 comment

    Maanchi! Thank you for this great recipe, I just made it tonight and it tastes amazing! It was so easy to make :) I made alongside with Sigeumchi-namul as side dish, also from your recipe, tasted amazing!

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  2. Lovely20032003 New York joined 6/17 & has 3 comments

    I made these for the first time tonight and they were delicious! As usual, your recipes are amazing and delicious!

  3. abfab Los Angeles, CA joined 11/20 & has 1 comment

    Oh my gosh, Maangchi this is so delicious! My skewers were too long for my pan, so I just cooked it right from the marinade and then broiled it at the end to make it extra crispy! My wife and I loved every bite. I served it with rice (mix of sushi rice and red rice), shredded cabbage salad, sliced avocado with sesame, and my well-fermented kimchi (so sour and tasty!) – your recipe, of course. Thank you so much for teaching me how delicious Korean food can be!

    See full size image

  4. Jessicaf North carolina joined 6/20 & has 14 comments

    This is every bit as delicious as bulgogi. Good thing since beef prices are so crazy these days.

  5. pepott Sunnyvale, Ca joined 1/15 & has 2 comments

    Total time grill pork is 10 mins. Pork can be overcook, will it too tough??? How will I know if pork is cooked?? Thanks

  6. arnybjork iceland joined 5/14 & has 1 comment

    can you use anything else then chives on the side dish?

  7. pastrygirlvi Philippines joined 9/13 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    Would chicken be good too with this recipe?

  8. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 82 comments

    This is a new type of “satay”. I made this along with gochujangguk. It was awesome. Thank you, Maangchi!

    • Cornelius B. Ecuador joined 12/17 & has 42 comments

      My mother used to make Satay Babi: my favorite. But this is very different. I shall certainly make it some day, but there are sooo many delicious recipes on this page: will keep me busy for the rest of the year, just going to start with Kimchi…

  9. haimel Texas joined 10/13 & has 1 comment

    Making this tonight, my kids love anything on a skewer!

  10. charliesommers Nashville, Tn. joined 4/10 & has 12 comments

    I have used doenjang as a fish marinade many times but never used it with pork. My wife is Japanese and loves miso but I think the Korean doenjang has a heartier taste. I also really like the little chunks of bean that are always in doenjang. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you Maangchi.

  11. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

    Wow, looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try it. I do enjoy things with doenjang – I think it’s the same as miso, right?

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