My brother-in-law, Zach, served his LDS mission in South Korea and he told me Samgyupsal gui (grilled pork belly) is what all the missionaries crave after returning home.
Pork belly is uncured, unsmoked bacon. Pair that crispy, fatty meat with some tangy spicy kimchi, sweet and spicy gochujang sauce and some fresh lettuce and you’ve got a delicious bite for sure.
As for these sweet and salty potatoes, they’re called Gamja Jorin and are a common panchan (appetizer/side dish) in Korean. I fell in love with these the last time I ate at a Korean restaurant. And I’m not the only one! I’ve also learned they’re a lunchbox favorite in Korea! So if you’re looking to change up your kids’ lunch, why not try Korean?
*Naptime tip: Make the potatoes in the morning so they have plenty of time to chill before dinner time. And the next day, you can add eggs to any leftovers for a mean Korean breakfast burrito!
(Sweet and salty potatoes)
Recipe from To Food with Love
3 medium-sized potatoes (approx 2 cups), cut into 1/2 inch sticks or cubes
2 Tbs. oil
½ cup water
2½ Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. Corn Syrup
1½ Tbs. sugar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the uncooked potatoes (turning occasionally) on med-high heat for 5-7 minutes until half cooked and lightly seared on all sides. Add the water, soy, corn syrup, sugar and garlic and simmer until potatoes are cooked and the sauce thickens and is no longer runny, 6-8 minutes. Add salt to taste. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and chill until ready to serve.
(Grilled Porkbelly lettuce wraps)
Recipe adapted from Korean Bapsang
For the pork belly-
1 lb. thick sliced fresh pork belly (1/4″-1/2″ thick)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
2 green chili peppers (optional)
(It’s also common to grill sliced onions, mushrooms and/or kimchi with the pork.)
3 – 4 scallions, thinly sliced to garnish
1 head of green leaf or butter lettuce
For the sauce-
3 Tbs. gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
2 tsp. sesame oil
2-3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
3-4 Tbs. water
Cut the pork belly slices in half so they’re smaller to grill. Put them into a bowl or plastic bag and add the garlic, oil, salt, pepper and chilies if using. Add in onions or mushrooms, if desired. Toss to coat. Set aside or chill until ready to grill.
Put all the ingredients for the sauce into a jar then shake to combine.
Heat the grill, skillet or griddle to medium high or high.
Grill any veggies and kimchi as desired. Grill the pork until crispy on both sides. Toss the pork with a little of the sauce then return to the heat for a minute to cook on that glaze.
Serve the pork and kimchi immediately in lettuce wraps, top with more sauce and some chopped scallions. Pair with steamed rice and your potatoes.