If there was a go to dish for my family, it would be Korean Grilled Pork Belly with Red leaf lettuce. The dish is so simple, yet is easily one of our favorite meals to have together. At it’s basic it is grilled pork belly, washed red leaf lettuce, white radish kim chi, and either a sesame oil with salt and pepper sauce or ssamjjang. That is it. You wrap the grilled pork belly in the red leaf lettuce, add your radish in it (or don’t), and dip it in the sesame salt and pepper sauce. Serve some rice on the side, and you got a pretty great meal that is quick and easy.
When I first went to my Korean in-laws, I was amazed at how much frozen meat they had. I mean there was always Kalbi, pork belly, and soups in the freezer. I didn’t really understand why they always had frozen meat, until I started going to the Korean grocery store and cooking Korean food. I now know it is all about the frozen meats!
If you ever go to a Korean grocery store they have aisles and aisles of frozen short ribs, pork belly, and thinly sliced beef. It is just a way of cooking, and it is super duper convenient. If you like grilling then Korean cooking is for you. I can’t tell you how many times we didn’t know what to cook, and I just grilled up some pork belly. Add some sesame oil, add some salt and pepper, get out the kimchi and you are money.
Anyhow, I never thought I would be a frozen meat guy, but here I am with a full selection of beef, pork, and probably a ton of frozen mandu (or gyozas) in my freezer. For the record I don’t freeze chicken though, for some reason I just can’t get into the frozen chicken thing.
Tips for cooking Korean Grilled Pork Belly with red leaf lettuce
- Grill your pork belly until it has the orangish hue – That means it is cooked with an extra crisp, and that makes all the difference with the red leaf lettuce.
- Get red leaf lettuce – I can’t explain it other than it doesn’t taste the same when you buy just green romaine lettuce (I have tried).
- Spring for the pickled radish – Pickled white radish adds that extra something to the dish. The freshness, the crunch, that pickled radish makes your meal memorable.
What to eat with Korean Grilled Pork Belly
- Sesame oil with salt and pepper sauce – As the name suggests you pour sesame oil in a dipping bowl, add some salt, and freshly ground pepper and you are good to go. If you have never eaten meat with this sauce, it will change your life.
- Ssamjang – It is a Korean item made with soybean paste, gochujang, and seasonings. I just buy ssamjang at the Korean grocery store, it is usually in a green container.
- Rice – You have to eat grilled pork with rice. I prefer white rice here.
If you like Korean food, then my family favorites are Instant Pot Galbitang (beef short rib soup), Dak Dori Tang (spicy chicken and potato stew), and Jjangmeyon (black bean noodles).
Korean Grilled Pork Belly with Red Leaf Lettuce
- Non-stick Pan
- 1 lb Pork belly
- 1 container White radish kimchi
- 1 head Red leaf lettuce
Sesame oil sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black pepper
- Cut the pork belly into 1/2 inch slices.
- Wash and rinse your red leaf lettuce. Then dry and separate the individual leaves.
- Make the sesame sauce by pouring the sesame oil in a dipping bowl, and then adding the salt and pepper.
- Grill the pork belly for about 5-7 minutes until fully cooked. Wait for the pork belly to have that orangish hue, then you are completed.
- Prepare white radish.
- Serve the pork belly in it's own plate, the red leaf lettuce in it's own plate, and the kim chi on the side. Make sure everyone has their own dipping sauce, some white rice, and you have yourself an amazing dish!
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