These thin slices of griddled belly pork are a culinary wonder in themselves, but add the flavours of South Korea to the meat and you have the most fantastic little snack.
- 700 g belly pork
- 4 baby gem lettuces
- 7 garlic cloves
- vegetable oil, for frying
- small dipping bowl of sesame oil seasoned with a pinch of salt, for serving
- 1 green chilli, thinly sliced, for serving
- flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 spring onions
- 2½ tbsp soya bean paste
- 1 tsp gochujang (Korean red chilli paste)
- ½ tsp sesame seeds
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp golden syrup
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cut the belly pork into thin slices – about half a centimetre thick. Season them with a little salt and pepper and set aside until ready to griddle.
To make the sauce, crush the 2 garlic cloves into a mixing bowl. Finely slice the spring onions and add them to the bowl with the soya bean paste, chilli paste, sesame seeds, sesame oil and golden syrup. Mix well, then pour the sauce into a small serving bowl and set aside.
Remove the leaves from the baby gem lettuces – you will only need the large ones. Wash and rinse the leaves well and set them out on a large serving platter. Slice the 7 garlic cloves lengthways and set aside.
Heat a large cast-iron griddle or frying pan. Add a small amount of vegetable oil, then wipe off the excess with a little kitchen paper. Add some of the seasoned pork slices to the hot pan, together with some garlic slices and fry until the garlic is golden and crispy and the pork is golden brown on both sides – a couple of minutes on each side should be enough. You will need to cook the pork in a few batches, so as each batch is cooked, place it on a warm plate and cover with some foil to keep warm while you cook the rest.
Cut the pork slices in half and place them on the lettuce leaves. Add some crispy slices of garlic on top.
Put the sauce, salted sesame oil and sliced green chilli into 3 separate bowls. Serve them with the pork and garlic lettuce cups so that everyone can add garnishes as they wish.
Recipes and images from The Hairy Bikers' Asian Adventure by Simon King & Dave Myers (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, $39.99, hbk, available here)