Happy (much belated) New Year!
I’m kicking 2017 off with a healthy recipe. This is a fun and healthy Korean dish perfect for a weekday dinner because there’s not much prepping and all of the cooking happens right on the dinner table.
To celebrate the new year, my best friend and I went to a Korean restaurant to have all-you-can-eat samgyeopsal, grilled pork belly wrapped in lettuce and perilla leaves. Although the juicy pork belly and the fresh vegetables were delicious, the group of seriously drunk men sitting behind us was so loud we had to leave. I decided to recreate the dish, this time in the comfort of my quiet home.
The number of lettuce and perilla leaves depends on your preference of leaf to meat ratio. I had 10 pieces of lettuce and 5 perilla leaves. The perilla leaves have a very distinct taste which I don’t dislike but tastes a little strong for me, so I like having half a perilla leaf per wrap.
The other vegetables to add to your samgyeopsal can be anything. I went for kabocha squash, red bell peppers, garlic, and some broccoli sprouts to make it as colorful as possible. Kimchi is also delicious in the wrap but all the kimchi I can find contain sugar which isn’t Whole30 compliant. But if you’re not on the Whole30, go ahead and add the kimchi!
Heat up your table top grill and lay out the pork and vegetables. If you don’t own a table top grill, you can also do this in the kitchen using a nonstick pan. As long as your grill or pan is nonstick, there’s no need to add oil. Pork belly is a fatty, greasy cut of meat so the fat will render out when it hits the heat.
Cook up your pork belly and vegetables until both have nice grill marks.
Cut your thick strips of pork belly into bite size pieces using kitchen shears.
Dip your pork belly into a mixture of sesame oil and salt before putting it in your wrap. Traditionally you add ssamjang, a dipping sauce, but this contains bean paste as well as sugar which I currently can’t have on the Whole30.
To assemble, take a piece of lettuce and perilla leaf, and add one or two pieces of the grilled pork belly and whatever other vegetables you like. Wrap it up and pop it in your mouth!