Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Hot, Spicy, & Sweet Pork Stew Inspired by Daeji Bulgogi





I don't eat pork.  I've said that before and I am saying it again.  Well, I don't eat all red meat may they be beef, lamb, mutton, camel, nor any other meat that falls under the category "red meat".  I have always loved pork all my life until three years ago when I changed my diet because I found out that pork and other red meat aggravates my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  My gut doesn't seem to recognize red meat as food and refuse to process and eliminate them from my system.  It actually tried to accumulate them maybe for future evaluation.  

Anyway, even if I am no pork-eater, I always enjoy cooking pork and other red meat for my husband.  And since my husband had been requesting for a pork dish and because some friends are coming over for dinner (that was a few weeks ago), I decided to prepare something new for their palate.

I cooked this Hot and Sweet Pork Stew.  This dish was inspired by Daeji Bulgogi which is a Korean pork barbecue dish.  I just learned that Bulgogi literally means fire meat in Korean language maybe because traditionally, the meat are cooked on top of live charcoals or over fire.  At this current age of modernization where people prefer comfort and convenience over any other else, most bulgogi dishes are cooked grilled on top of an oven, on an electric griller, gas griller, and sometimes even pan-fried.  Some, though, would still prefer to cook the meat over charcoal as the process brings out a more intense and richer flavor from the marinated meat.  

Anyway, I didn't do any of those though because I find it more tedious and laborious as compared it to searing and stewing (but I was wrong!!!).  That was also the reason why I opted for a title like that above, I believe referring to this dish as "inspired by" instead of calling it "Daeji Bulgogi" is more appropriate.  That leads me to one more concern.  I've been searching for kochugaro (Korean chili powder) or kochooiang (Korean chilli paste) in Carrefour, al meera, mega mart, spinneys, and other supermarkets here in Doha but I wasn't able to find any so I settled with my usual chilli flakes.  I want to use kochugaro or kochoojang to make my Korean dishes more authentic.  So anyone with the knowledge as to where I can buy any or both of this anywhere in Doha or Qatar please let me know. Pleeeaase




Daeji bulgogi usually is eaten with steamed rice.  Some have it wrapped with lettuce.  My husband and friends gorged on my pork stew with rice.  And boy was I glad they liked it specially my husband who gave me such rave comments and requested that I cook the same dish for him again.  

     HOT, SPICY, SWEET  PORK STEW 
          (Inspired by Korean Daeji Bulgogi)

Ingredients:

Pork - 700 g
Salt to taste
Sesame Oil - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 1 cup

Marinade & Sauce:

Soy Sauce - 3 tbsp
White Wine - 3 tbsp
Honey - 3 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Garlic, minced - 5 cloves
Black Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds, toasted - 1 tbsp
Chilli flakes - as desired
Salt to taste

Cooking Procedure:

1. Slice pork against the grain and very thinly.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together until well-blended. I used and immersion blender to get a smoother texture for the sauce.
3.  Pour it over the pork and mix well using your hands.  Transfer the sauce and the pork in a plastic bag or container and marinate for at least 6 hours, overnight, or as long as you want so that the meat will absorb more of the flavors 
3. Drain the pork and set aside the sauce.
4. In a pan, pour the sesame and olive oil and heat them under medium fire.  Sear the pork for at least a minute on both sides.  Transfer the seared pork in a plate.
5.  In the same pan, remove some of the oil used to sear the pork if you like. Pour the sauce and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. 
6.  Toss in the pork and simmer under low fire until most of the liquids have evaporated.  Add salt to taste





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