We were having pork chops and Larry said he wanted something Asian, which meant I started looking through my recipes and I came up with one that just needed to be tried. We were both so happy with this particular recipe too. It is definitely a “do-over”. When I was looking for a recipe to cook, I had no idea clue about its background. It just sounded really good. Turns out, it was a fusion with Korean influences.
I am not that well versed with Korean foods, though I am learning about them. One of my favorite things about writing my blog is that I learn so much about so many different foods from around the world. The marinade I used for the pork chops was where the Korean influences came into play. This same marinade would also be very good on chicken, beef, salmon or ahi tuna too. It is a big bold sauce, with big bold flavors, so you have to use it for something that can handle all these big flavors.
Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables and meats (at least in the South). Ingredients and dishes vary by province. Many regional dishes have become national, and dishes that were once regional have proliferated in different variations across the country. The Korean Royal Court once brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family. Foods are regulated by Korean cultural etiquette. Meats of all kinds are used sparingly for the general population though, because they are so expensive and are a premium.
Eating in Korean, as with many traditional Asian countries, is very ceremonial. There are traditional prayers said before eating a meal and prayers said after the meal. If you feel confident in your Korean, you can say ‘jal meokkessumnida’ (잘 먹겠습니다 ) before the meal — similar to the Japanese itadakimasu, it roughly translates to ‘I will eat well’. After the meal, you can say ‘jal meogeosseumnida’ (잘 먹었습니다) to signal that you have indeed eaten well and are happy. When dining with Koreans, the motto is don’t waste your food. Only take what you can eat. Do not take more than you can eat and leave it on your plate to go to waste. It is considered rude to leave food on your plate. In Korean culture, it is respectful to clean your plate.
Korean Style Pork Chops
3-4 lbs of pork or meat of your choice
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 TBSP garlic
1 TBSP ginger
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1 TBSP sambal sauce or Asian chili paste
Mix everything together and thoroughly coat your meat. Let it marinade for at least 2 hours before cooking. The meat will be full of flavor and very tender.
You can grill or roast your meat. It was snowing pretty heavily when I made this, so roasted it in the oven. I didn’t feel like going out and grilling in the snow. When the meat is done, spoon some of the sauce on top of the meat and serve it over rice with green onions and cilantro. I added some sliced green onions on top of the meat as well. I also served it with some green beans with mushrooms, peppers and shallots.
Just adding the extras.
My wine choice was a smooth, but bold red zinfandel. It went very well with the bold flavors of the sauce.
‘Jal meogeosseumnida’ (잘 먹었습니다) – we ate well and we were happy.
Stay safe, stay well and stay warm Everyone. ‘Til next time.