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Recipe: Korean Grilled Saddleberk Pork Belly

Traditional "samgyeopsal" (grilled pork belly) in Korea is extremely popular. By recent estimates, 46 lbs of pork belly are eaten by each person annually. In America, we tend to eat belly when it's processed as bacon, but there are awesome ways to prepare fresh belly as well! This is a simple, straightforward dish for your first foray into fresh belly. 

What you'll need (for 3 servings): 

  • 1 lb Saddleberk Fresh Belly
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 8 oz bean sprouts
  • 3 bunches baby bok choy
  • 1 large bunch lettuce
  • 8 oz fresh snap peas
  • 1 cup jasmine rice 
  • 3 tbsp chile garlic sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil 
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper 

To begin, slice the pork belly block into bite-sized pieces . It's easier to slice if it's a little frozen. Place in shallow mixing bowl. Mix 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp soy sauce and pour over the belly. Allow to marinate for about an hour. 

Wash all vegetables and cut the lettuce and bok choy. Begin preparing the jasmine rice as directed according to the package (generally involves adding a specific ratio of water to the rice in a saucepan and cooking for 15 minutes on low, then fluffing).

Grill the pork on a grill or you can also use a saute pan. Cook until it reaches medium rare or 145 degrees. Do not overcook the belly. After the pork is cooked, you can add the mushrooms, bok choy, peas and bean sprouts to the pan while the pork is still in it, or you can remove the pork and cook all the veggies separately. I think it's easier to just add it all together, but aesthetically it might be nicer to cook separately. Finish preparing the rice.

Add the chile garlic sauce to a small dish and pour the extra tablespoon of sesame oil into another small dish. Add salt and pepper to the sesame oil. You'll dip your pork in these for extra flavor. Place all veggies and pork on a dish, serve the rice and enjoy your meal family style.

*You can always use different veggies if you'd prefer, as well as add more spice with more chile sauce. Another popular addition to Korean grilled pork is traditional Kimchi (but that's another recipe for another day!)