Korean Grilled Pork Chops
Korean food is one of the least appreciated ethnic foods. We’ve all had Chinese, Japanese, and Thai, but Korean seems to get forgotten. These Korean Grilled Pork Chops are a great introduction to the flavors of Korean food. The familiar aromatic flavors of ginger and garlic combined with the fermented spice paste gochujang and the Korean chile powder gochugaru provide the flavor base for Korean cuisine. These Korean Grilled Pork Chops presents the flavors of Korea with the familiar All-American staple, grilled meat. Try these pork chops with Korean Stir Fried Vegetables.
Gochujang is a fermented spice paste, that looks and tastes like a spicy, sweet, slightly funky, tomato paste. The flavor is deep and complex, and pretty much impossible to imitate. Gochujang is the key to this entire dish, but don’t worry it is easy to find. If your grocery store has an international aisle, I’m almost certain it will be there. If your store doesn’t have an international aisle, you can order it on Amazon. Gochujang is one of those ingredients that once you try it, you’ll be trying to find excuses to use it. It is a unique flavor, that is strong enough to notice, but subtle enough to work well with almost anything. Try it with beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, stir fried veggies, or substitute it for tomato paste in stews.
Gochugaru is a Korean chile powder that is a little harder to find than gochujang, but it is easier to substiture. You can substitute regular crushed red chile flakes, but be warned crushed red pepper is much spicier. If you can find gochugaru, you should use it, but if you use crushed red pepper flakes, cut the amount down to about a teaspoon. You can find it on Amazon, but it is kind of expensive, and is much more than you, your children, and your grandchildren will ever need.
1/4 cup gochujang (see notes)
3 Tbsp sugar
4 large garlic cloves
1-inch chunk of peeled ginger, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp dry sake
2 Tbsp gochugaru (see notes)
1/2 onion sliced thinly
4 large pork chops
- Place the ginger and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced. Add all the ingredients, but the pork chops, into the minced garlic and ginger and pulse to combine.
- Place the pork chops in a zip-top bag, and pour the gochujang mixture and refrigerate for at least 4 hours…or even better overnight.
- Light a charcoal grill, and set it up for indirect grilling. Sear the pork chops over the coals, then move to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. The pork chops will be done when the internal temperature is 145 degrees.