Korean Pork Belly Tacos
By Jennifer Maeng
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2-inches peeled ginger root, roughly chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons gochujang, Korean chili paste (see note)
2 tablespoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil, more for brushing
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cola
2 pounds pork belly or boneless pork loin, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
Corn tortillas, for serving
Salsa, for serving
Pickled radish or kimchi, for serving
1. Put the onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, gochujang, sesame oil, and sugar into a blender and blend until very well smooth. Whisk in the cola. Pour marinade over the pork and let marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, and preferably overnight.
2. Preheat the grill. Grill the pork until browned on the edges and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side over direct heat. If the fat dripping down from the pork belly causes excess flare-ups on your grill, you can also cook it over indirect heat though it will take a little longer. The loin is leaner and won’t cause flare-ups.
3. Brush the tortillas with a little sesame oil and grill for a few seconds to warm them up. To eat, roll up the pork, salsa, and radish or kimchi inside the tortillas. Have plenty of napkins on hand. This is drippy, messy, and delicious food.
Note: Korean gochujang is a very spicy, thick and glossy chili paste with a pronounced sweetness. It’s available in Korean and Asian markets (Ed. And soon, Gilt Taste). If you can’t find it, substitute 3 tablespoons sriracha chili sauce, 1 tablespoon honey and a pinch of cayenne.
Melissa Clark's spin: The chili marinade is so terrific with pork, and so quick to put together once you have the chili paste, that you shouldn’t limit yourself to using it solely for the tacos. For Gochujang Pork Chops, use the marinade for 4 chops (1 1/4-inch thick each), and let marinate overnight in the fridge. Then grill or broil until done to taste.