Spicy Pork Bulgogi (Jeyuk Bokkeum)
Make Korean Spicy Pork Bulgogi at home with this simple recipe. In 20 minutes, stir-fry thin pork shoulder slices with spicy gochujang sauce. Follow this recipe tips for a home-cooked version that tastes just like restaurant-style Jeyuk Bokkeum.
“This was so easy, and turned out WONDERFUL. Both boyfriend and I loved it. Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s a keeper!”mandalameg
You can never go wrong with the classic Korean bulgogi recipe, especially when made with the ever-popular pork meat.
Let me introduce you to the incredible Spicy Pork Bulgogi! It’s the superstar of Korean pork dishes and a hit at every Korean barbecue party. This dish has everything you crave – juicy, tender slices of pork belly, a spicy kick from gochujang sauce, and a hint of sweetness.
What is Jeyuk Bokkeum?
The Korean name for spicy pork bulgogi is Jeyuk Bokkeum (제육볶음) – Jeyuk means pork, and bokkeum means stir-fry. It’s a spicy marinated pork stir-fry with the mildly sweet and spicy gochujang sauce. This beloved Korean BBQ pork, along with bossam (Korean pork wraps) and samgyupsal, is loved by many people around the world.
And let’s not forget its other name, Dweiji Bulgogi–That’s “pig stir-fry” for all you non-Korean speakers. Trust me, this dish is so easy to make, even the clumsiest of cooks can whip it up in a jiffy.
Quick and Flavorful Korean Pork Bulgogi at Home
The amazing thing about this Korean pork recipe is that it captures the taste of a professionally cooked, smoky, and fiery dish that is hard to recreate in a home kitchen. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you achieve that same flavor at home.
Plus, this dish is super quick and easy to make! You can have a delicious and spicy Korean pork stir-fry (Jeyuk Bokkeum) ready for dinner in just a few minutes, even without marinating the pork beforehand.
It’s one of the quick and affordable Asian dinner recipes that can’t go wrong. Serve with rice and lettuce, and you are good to go.
Perfect Gochujang Pork Stir-fry Sauce
The key component of the spicy sauce in this dish is “gochujang (Korean chili paste).” This delicious sauce provides the pork with a spicy yet subtly sweet flavor. To ensure the pork absorbs the sauce evenly, make sure to thinly slice it.
You have control over the level of heat by adjusting the amount of chili flakes used. And if spice isn’t your thing, you can even leave out the chili flakes. However, for those who love a good kick of heat, we Koreans enjoy things nice and spicy!
If you want to try this spicy pork bulgogi sauce with a slightly different version, try my chicken bulgogi recipe. It’s equally tasty and everyone who tried that recipe have raved about it.
Ingredients for Pork Bulgogi
- Pork Shoulder (or Pork Butt): You need a certain level of fat in the pork to make it moist and tender. Pork shoulder would be ideal for this recipe. Make sure your pork is thinly sliced. You can find pre-sliced pork shoulder in Korean stores. Some use pork belly, but I found it to be too fatty for stir-fry cooking.
- Onion: Onion is the best companion for many savory dishes. It adds a natural sweetness to the dish.
- Asian Leek or Green Onion: Fry with the oil for 30 seconds at the beginning and you will taste the difference.
- Korean Chili Paste (Gochujang): Luckily it is widely available in many stores. If you have not tried yet, you are missing out on one of the greatest ingredients for your cooking.
- Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru): This adds extra heat to the dish which makes it “spicy” and delicious. Adjust the amount depending on your heat tolerance.
- Sugar or Honey It adds a sweetness and balances the spiciness of the dish.
- Other ingredients: soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger puree, sesame oil, sesame seeds.
Cooking Tips and Tricks
- Quick Caramelized Sugar: Let 2 teaspoon of sugar caramelize in hot oil to get the burnt sugar taste. The smoky flavor adds depth and mimics the flavor that is only acquirable from stir-fry done in flaming hot wok in a professional kitchen.
- Infused Leek (or Green Onion): Fry chopped Asian leek or green onion with burnt, sugared oil for 30 seconds at the beginning to infuse the flavor. The aroma will penetrate into the pork slices, adding a deeper flavor.
- Large skillet (wok) Over High Heat: You will need a large skillet that has enough room to stir around without being crammed. A high heat also helps the steam to evaporate quickly, otherwise the steam will be trapped inside and results in runny sauce. If your skillet (wok) is not big enough to stir-fry the entire batch of pork, divide the pork in half or in portions you desire. If so, you will need to reduce the amount of oil, sugar, and leek to caramelize per batch accordingly.
How to make Spicy Pork Bulgogi (Jeyuk Bokkeum)
Step 1. Make the pork bulgogi sauce.
- Make the seasoning paste first: Combine gochujang, Korean chili flakes, soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, garlic, ginger puree, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and pepper; mix well.
- Pork shoulder (Pork Butt): Separate each slice and put them in a bowl. Add the seasoning paste and mix well. You can make this step ahead of time and let it marinate in the refrigerator up to 24 hrs. Or you can go straight to stir-fry without marinating at all.
Hint: Wearing a disposable food-prep plastic glove will be handy to mix the pork with the seasoning paste. It will protect your delicate hand.
Step 2. Caramelize the sugar: Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a deep skillet or wok over high heat. Add 2 teaspoon of sugar and swirl the pan around. Let the sugar turn brown and caramelized.
Step 3. Infuse the leek (or green onion): Quickly add the chopped Asian leek (or green onion) and stir-fry for 30 seconds to infuse the oil.
Step 4. Add the marinated pork and onion: Add pork and onion. The meat should sizzle right away when you add it to the skillet.
Step 5. Stir-fry the pork: Stir-fry pork and onion until they are fully cooked and tender. Serve immediately with rice.
To fully enjoy Jeyuk Bokkeum, you should serve it hot. Pair it with lettuce and Kkaennip (Korean perilla leaves), and Korean rice.
While many Korean households serve this spicy pork bulgogi with Doenjnag Jjigae (Korean soybean paste stew) as a side dish, it’s not a necessity. The choice is yours!
More Bulgogi Recipes
If you like Korean bulgogi dishes, check out these recipes below. Also try other Korean dinner recipes for quick and easy meal ideas.
- Ground Beef Bulgogi (Korean Beef Bowl)
- Classic Beef Bulgogi Recipe (Korean BBQ Beef)
- Chicken Bulgogi (Korean Chicken BBQ)
- Crispy Bulgogi (Korean Beef)
- Spicy Pork and Squid Stir-Fry (Osam Bulgogi)
Other Korean Recipes
Looking for more popular Korean recipes? Don’t miss out these below. All are easy to prepare in your home kitchen:
Spicy Pork Bulgogi (Jeyuk Bokkeum)
- 2 lb (900 g) pork shoulder , or pork butt, very thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 Asian leek , or 4 green onion, chopped
- 1/2 large onion, sliced
- To make the seasoning paste for pork, combine chili paste, chili flakes, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, garlic, ginger puree, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl; mix well.
- In a large mixing bowl, separate each slice of pork and put them in a bowl. Add the seasoning paste and mix well (Wearing a disposable food glove is helpful). You can make this step ahead of time and let it marinate in the refrigerator up to 24 hrs. Or you can go straight to stir-fry without marinating at all.
- Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a deep skillet or wok over high heat. Add 2 teaspoon of sugar and swirl the pan around. Let the sugar turn brown and caramelized.
- Quickly add the chopped Asian leek (or green onion) and stir-fry for 30 seconds to infuse the oil. Add pork and onion. Stir-fry pork and onion until they are fully cooked and tender, about 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with rice and lettuce (if desired).
- Note: If your skillet is not big enough to stir-fry the entire batch of pork, divide the pork in half or in portion you desire. If so, you will need to reduce the amount of oil, sugar, and leek to caramelize per batch accordingly.