Korean Pulled Pork

This Korean Pulled Pork is delicious on its own or can be used is many Korean fusion dishes like Korean tacos or over chips. What it is is diced pork shoulder, stewed in lots of aromatics and Korean staples, then roasted low-and-slow. The pork is then removed and shredded and the juiced reduced to form a thick coating for the meat. The shredded meat and reduced juices are ten mixed and put under the grill/broiler to brown. Pork shoulder really benefits from low-and-slow cooking and is one of the cheaper cuts of pork. The Korean staples, doenjang (Korean soybean paste), gochujang (Korean chilli paste) and gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes), may be hard to come by but they are worth sourcing either in asian supermarkets or online as there really seems to be no substitute for the real thing. You could¬†possibly¬†use Japanese miso paste instead of the doenjang as doenjang is the Korean equivalent of miso paste but I haven’t tried it. And besides, there is not an asian supermarket or website in the world that will carry the Korean chilli paste and flakes and not the soybean paste so you might as well swing for all three. As you’re at it, you might think about picking up a tub of chunjang which is Korean black bean paste, another staple, not to be confused or replaced with Chinese black bean paste. They are different and the Korean black bean paste gives a dramatic tarry blackness to dishes.

This Korean Pulled Pork does take a while so I suggest making a lot of it and freezing it in batches. It freezes and reheats well and, if you remember it’s there, you’ll be amazed how often you can use it!

Korean Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 3 limes halved
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 peeled garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 thumb sized piece of peeled, fresh ginger, thickly sliced and crushed
  • 1 orange halved
  • 120 ml orange juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp doenjang (Korean spy bean paste)
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 1.5 tsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 475 ml water
  • 1.8 Kg boneless pork shoulder cut into 5 cm pieces, trimmed of excess fat

Instructions

  1. Add the orange juice to a large ovenproof or casserole followed by the soy sauce, doenjang, gochujang, gochugaru, water and the juice from one of the limes and mix well to combine.
  2. Add the pork pieces and mix well before mixing in the onion, garlic, ginger and orange halves.
  3. Place it over a high heat to bring it to the boil. Then bring it down to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Then clamp the lid on and transfer it to a preheated oven at 150 degrees celsius for 2 or 2 and a half hours stirring halfway through.
  5. Then take it out and remove all the meat, fruit and vegetables with a slotted spoon leaving only the juices behind. Pour back and resting juices and place them over a high heat to boil for 15 minutes and reduce by half. Then remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Now line a large baking tray with tin foil and add the pork pieces to it. Remove and discard the fruit and vegetables.
  7. With 2 forks or your fingers, tear the pork pieces up. They should fall apart very easily.
  8. Now pour over the reduced cooking juices and toss it up to mix and coat the pork with the juices.
  9. Spread it out to an even single layer, sprinkle over a little pinch of sea salt flakes and black pepper and place under a hot grill/broiler for 6 minutes or until it just begins to char and turn brown.
  10. Squeeze the juice of the remaining limes over the pork, or just one lime and serve the other one as a garnish.
  11. Toss to combine, transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
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