David Chang talks about the similarities of foods in different countries in the Mind of a Chef. We have noodles In almost every culture the world over. How about substituting coleslaw with kimchi? And Southern BBQ with Korean BBQ (Bulgogi).
This was really pretty simple. I bought nice pork shoulder during my weekly trip to the local grocery story and got a nice pork shoulder and some hamburger buns thinking I had some Korean BBQ sauce in the pantry at home.
When I got home I found the Korean sauce I had was Go-chu-Jang.
Since I wanted to slow cook the pork, I started the roast on low in the slow cooker with about a half cup of chicken broth. The only seasoning used was a little Nature’s Seasons.
While the pork got started, I went down to the local Vietnamese / Asian market and found some Korean BBQ sauce (Bulgogi). There were rows and rows of sauce! I thought I was getting two jars of Bulgogi sauce because I wanted to get one for an upcoming meatloaf. When I was putting things away, I noticed that the other jar was “Kalbi” BBQ rib marinade —-
Even after spending two years in Vietnam, the bottles looked the same. The devil is in the details….. (fine print).
Oh well, another sauce to experiment with on another day!
While I was doing my Asian shopping (also picked up some fresh Okra and Asian eggplant). The pork shoulder started cooking and the fat and juice was rendering nicely. I poured some of the Bulgogi sauce over the pork. I then thought the glaze looked a little light, so I drained the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker and reduced it down by about 1/4. Before reducing, it tasted fabulous!
I poured the reduction over the pork and continued cooking on low setting till the pork was fork tender. The pork had a nice taste, but the seasoning and BBQ was on the mild side so I decided to drain the liquid and reduce it again before shredding the pork. I also added a little more Bulgogi sauce along with some Gojujang.
We served the Korean BBQ pork on hamburger buns with chopped kimchi and chips on the side.
Ultimate FAIL!!! 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻
Taste Taste Taste! I didn’t taste the reduced sauce until after it was added to the meat. I knew that one huge danger of a reduction is saltiness. I can’t tell you how salty the BBQ was. The saltiness of the meat masked the flavor of the Bulgogi and the kimchi. The kimchi came through a little, but not in a positive way. It’s hard to tell whether it was a result of the salt or the Bulgogi/kimchi flavor mix.
I would try it again, but this time marinade the meat a few hours, preferably overnight and then use predominately chicken broth or pork broth/boullion as the cooking broth for the pork. This would let the flavor of the pork shine through and you could let your guests add Bulgogi to their liking.
Just as a flavor experiment in seeing what went wrong, I tasted a little kimchi with the Bulgogi sauce. The flavors themselves go together and I still believe it reaches the level of American BBQ with coleslaw.
Give me a comment if you try it!