Spicy pork bulgogi rice bowl is an easy and delicious meal made with Korea’s signature spicy pork BBQ stir fry and hot steamed rice. The BBQ pork is coated with addictively spicy sauce and it is sure to please anyone who loves spicy food.
Korean spicy pork and my family’s obsession
My husband’s obsession about Korean spicy pork BBQ is no secret. (I’ve mentioned it here and there on my blog over the years.) Long story short, this is one meal he used to get almost every single night when he was an ESL teacher in Korea. And his habit and obsession didn’t die down when he came back to Australia.
This naturally forces (I’m sure this is the right word, Ahem) me to make more spicy pork for him and as a result, I become more creative with my Korean spicy pork recipe. Good thing, I guess? 😉
Korean spicy pork has many names under its belt. Amongst many, (Spicy) Pork bulgogi, Dwaeji Bulgogi (돼지불고기), Gochujang Bulgogi (고추장 불고기) and Jeyuk Bokkeum (제육볶음) are all well-known names.
In case, you don’t recognise some of these Korean words, Dwaeji (돼지) = Jeyuk (제육) = Pork and Gochujang (고추장) = Korean chilli paste.
Also, in case you’re wondering (because I know you will ask me if I don’t stipulate here), it’s not very common to make spicy beef bulgogi. I’m not saying it can’t be done. it’s just not common in Korea.
In the same way, it’s not common to have non-spicy pork bulgogi. That’s just how it is. 🙂
There are many things I love about my spicy pork bulgogi rice bowl
First of all, it’s spicy! Well, you might not notice the spiciness in your first bite because the sauce is also heavily sweetener coated (aka grated apple and honey), but soon enough it grows in you. But it’s so darn addictive! Your chopsticks will be so busy to get more of these delicious bites!
Second, this actually relates to the first reason. It’s spicy but also so delicious. So it makes me happy. I mean, seriously. I’ve read many times that spicy food is actually good for reducing the stress level in various publications and I think it’s true! Well, at least for me. 😉
Third, this spicy pork bulgogi rice bowl is so easy to prepare. Work hard for maybe 10 minutes (prepping) and sit and relax for 30 minutes (marination) then cook for 10 minutes. Voila! It’s a perfect weeknight solution! This can also be made ahead of time if you’re organised.
Fourth, this bulgogi rice bowl provides a miniature version of the whole Korean BBQ experience. Of course, this is based on what you would serve the bowl with. But look below. This is how I typically serve my spicy pork bulgogi rice bowl at home nowadays.
It has rice, BBQ meat, fresh salad (cucumber, lettuce, and Korean perilla leaves) all shredded and Korean spicy BBQ dipping sauce, all in one bowl! Of course, don’t forget the KIMCHI!
Rice Bowl Alternative
I’m sure not everyone will want to serve this spicy pork bulgogi over rice. Maybe you’re itching for some outdoor BBQing instead? Then it can certainly be arranged too! But my recommendation of the meat for this is pork belly!
As you see will below, I used pork shoulder otherwise known as pork collar butt for today’s spicy pork bulgogi recipe. Because I found that this is better suited for stir-frying. But if you’re going to use an outdoor BBQ, I think pork belly is a better choice. The extra fat in each layer makes the meat extra tender and delicious. Also, I absolutely love when the fat burns a little bit and is charred. It gives a really nice smoky flavour. No one can resist that!
Another way to serve is stir-frying with other vegetables. I particularly love stir-frying them with Korean perilla leaves. It adds such a nice aroma to it. Also, when you add other vegetables, they lose some water, so it can dilute the spiciness as well. For this, check my other Korean spicy pork recipe. (FYI, this recipe is actually made with pork belly. Also, this is a less spicy version compared to today’s recipe.)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this spicy deliciousness!
Ingredients for Spicy Pork Bulgogi, 4 servings
- 600g/1.3 pounds pork shoulder (pork collar butt), cut into small pieces for stir frying (*see note)
- 1 medium onion (170g/6 ounces), julienned
- Some cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
- 30g/1 ounce green onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
Pork Bulgogi Marinade (Blend these together in a handheld mixer or food processor)
- 100g/3.5 ounces red apple (e.g. royal gala) or nashi pear
- 50g/1.8 ounces brown onion
- 3 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp honey (or brown sugar)
- 2 Tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
- 2 Tbsp rice wine (mirin)
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Pork Rice Bowl Serving Suggestions
- Steamed rice for 4
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 10 Lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
- 10 Korean perilla leaves, thinly sliced
- Korean spicy dipping sauce for 4 (about 1 tsp each)
*1 Tbsp = 15 ml
** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my 30 essential Korean cooking ingredients list!
How to Make Pork Bulgogi
1.Marinate the meat in the sauce for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a well-heated wok or skillet cook the marinated meat over medium-high heat until the meat is about 70% cooked (about 7 to 10 mins). Add the onion and cook further until the meat is completely cooked. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve the meat with steamed rice, fresh lettuce, and Korean spicy dipping sauce.
-Pork shoulder (pork collar butt) purchased from a Korean grocery store is easier to use since it’s more prepared for this type of cooking. However, it can also be easily purchased from your local butcher too. It’s a popular cut for roasting or other slow cooking. Make sure it’s skinless and boneless. You can even ask them to thinly slice it for you for stir frying.
-I found that the best size for the each meat is 5 cm/2 inch (length) x 2 to 3 cm/0.8 to 1.2 inch (height) x 0.5cm/0.2 inch or less (thickness).
- 600 g pork shoulder (pork collar butt) cut into small pieces for stir frying (*see note above)
- 170 g medium onion (julienned)
- Some cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
- 30 g green onion (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Steamed rice (for 4 people)
- 1 English cucumber (thinly sliced)
- 10 leaves Lettuce (thinly sliced)
- 10 leaves Korean perilla (thinly sliced)
- 4 tsp Korean spicy dipping sauce (for 4 people, about 1 tsp each)
Marinate the meat in the sauce for at least 30 minutes.
In a well-heated wok or skillet cook the marinated meat over medium-high heat until the meat is about 70% cooked (about 7 to 10 mins). Add the onion and cook further until the meat is completely cooked. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve the meat with steamed rice, fresh lettuce, and Korean spicy dipping sauce.
*1 Tbsp = 15 ml